Richard II: Re-Acclimating to Shakespeare

After reading Richard II, I forgot about how hard it was for me to understand Shakespeare sometimes. Thus far, I find the story pretty interesting. It seems bizarre that these two lords can fight over something so intangible as honor is something that I don’t think we see today in the world. While that’s not to say honor is dead, but rather, people tend to identify with a personal insult as grounds to fight and possibly kill someone you know.

Additionally, I think it is an important point in King Richard’s character that he stopped the dual from¬†occurring. Instead of allowing petty squabbles to tear apart his kingdom, instead he fought to ensure the prosperity of his rule. However, this prosperity soon comes to be challenged by the dying Gaunt. I also find it interesting that Gaunt can so¬†blatantly disrespect the king with no subsequent outburst. This may be a result of his coming death. However, Richard does not seem to assert his importance over Gaunt, nor over York when he is challenged later in that very same scene. I think this may be an important thing to keep an eye on throughout the development of the play.

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About Chris DiBari

Chris is a student at Brooklyn College and Macaulay Honors College at CUNY. Born in Illiniois, Chris has lived in a number of different places including: Newport, RI, Key West, FL, Chesapeake, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, Warren, NJ, and currently lives in Brooklyn. He is living in the dorms, but soon hopes to leave and move to a different part of Brooklyn. Chris is undecided in his major, but has passions in the social sciences, and next semester hopes to take a few more history classes. Chris is currently pursuing his goal of becoming a United States Marine Corps officer through the Platoon Leader's Class option and applying to the United States Naval Academy.