From Confusion to Rage

Why Are the History Plays So Hard?! There is little doubt that the Henriad is much better than the Henry VI plays. There’s little doubt that pretty much all of the history plays are better than the Henry Vi plays. Despite being well-written and largely entertaining, they can still be quite difficult to work through. … Continue reading From Confusion to Rage

Reflecting on the Past of Henry IV

One of the major focuses of 2 Henry IV is reflecting on the past and dealing with the consequences. We see much more of the older characters as power shifts from one generation to the next, so it is helpful to get a refresher on what transpired up until this point. It all started with … Continue reading Reflecting on the Past of Henry IV

Decontructing the Tudor Myth

By usurping Richard III in 1485, Henry Tudor (now Henry VII) brought about the end of the Wars of the Roses, decades of turmoil for the English people. The Tudor Dynasty meant a long period of peace and prosperity for England...at least that is what they wanted us to believe. Unfortunately for the Tudors, Henry’s … Continue reading Decontructing the Tudor Myth

Richard II and Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I was famously supposed to have compared herself to Richard II. We may find that surprising to think of today because she is remembered as Gloriana, a great Queen. However, late in her reign when Richard II was written, this was not that surprising of a comparison. As the Queen aged, eyes started looking … Continue reading Richard II and Elizabeth I

Richard II Part 3

No pictures with this one because they would all just be too depressing... Act IV, Scene 1 Henry Bolingbroke calls Bagot before him to ask what he knows of Gloucester’s death. He immediately blames the whole affair on Aumerle. Aumerle scoffs at the accusation and barely even wants to offer a response, but throws down … Continue reading Richard II Part 3

Richard II Part Two

Act III, Scene 1 Bolingbroke sentences Bushy and Green to death. He wouldn’t even bother telling them why, but he doesn’t want anyone thinking that he killed them unjustly. So, he explains that they lead the King astray and stole his attention so often that they actually came between him and his Queen. Then, of … Continue reading Richard II Part Two

Act I, Scene 1 Richard calls forth his uncle, John of Gaunt, to explain the position of Henry Bolingbroke, Gaunt’s son. As far as Gaunt can tell, Bolingbroke has evidence of some treachery from Thomas Mowbry, the Duke of Norfolk. Since the treachery seems directed at Richard, he decides to hear their case. Bolingbroke and … Continue reading

The Tumultuous Reign of Richard II

Before we jump into the play about Richard II, it's important to understand the basic facts of his reign, as they would have been understood by an Elizabethan audience. Richard's reign was defined by those who tried to exert power through him. First, by the men put in charge of him as a minor. Then, … Continue reading The Tumultuous Reign of Richard II