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

Female Complexity in Taming of the Shrew

In The Taming of the Shrew, we see two sisters pitted against each other. Bianca is a perfect example of feminine virtue. She is obedient, soft-spoken, and studious. Katherine, however, is the exact opposite. She is outspoken, even rude sometimes, about what she wants and thinks. However, if we look more closely at these two … Continue reading Female Complexity in Taming of the Shrew

Taming of the Shrew Part 3

Act IV, Scene 1 Grumio tries to start a fire as he grumbles about how Petruchio is mistreating him. Another servant, Curtis, comes in to see what all the grumbling is about. Grumio asks him to start a fire, but Curtis is too interested in Katherine and other updates. Grumio explains that Katherine used to … Continue reading Taming of the Shrew Part 3

Taming of the Shrew Part 2

Act II, Scene 1 Bianca, with her hands bound, asks Katherine to let her go and she will do whatever Katherine asks. Katherine asks her which suitor she loves more. Bianca insists she hasn't felt a special connection to anyone yet. Katherine asks if she like Hortensio better. Bianca tells Katherine she can have Hortensio. … Continue reading Taming of the Shrew Part 2

Taming of the Shrew Part 1

Induction, Scene 1 Christopher Sly drunkenly argues with the hostess of an ale house as she throws him out of her bar. She wants him to pay for the glasses he broke, but he refuses. He quickly passes out just outside the door. A Lord comes by with his hunting party. He comments on the … Continue reading Taming of the Shrew Part 1

Taming of the Shrew: Introduction

Understanding the Many Readings of the Play The Taming of the Shrew can be a drastically polarizing play to those who study and perform Shakespeare. Like most of his plays, it can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways, but the two main readings of Shrew are particularly divisive. Some read it as a … Continue reading Taming of the Shrew: Introduction