Richard-Related Ramblings

I’m going to follow a trend here and say that I, too, experience difficulty while reading the works of William Shakespeare. The only difference with me is that I never realized it. I’ve only ever read the convenient copies with translations every couple of pages and other helping tools in the front and/or back of the book. I love Shakespeare’s plays and devoured them in high school, but every time I had those super-books. I never realized how much I needed them. This time I downloaded the play (it’s public domain- totally legal!). My copy is straight Shakespeare. No assistance here. It’s pretty rough.

As for the story, I think I like it. Richard’s sneaky plot with the banishment and Gaunt’s wealth surprised me and increased my interest. As in media, if it bleeds it leads. The story catches your attention first with the pending duel (for honor? really?) and then with the money scheme. The Duke of York was greatly opposed to seizing the wealth, saying: “You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,/ You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts.” This, as well as the Queen’s premonitions, is major foreshadowing indicating the downfall of Richard II.

I also want to put in as a light side note that in the heat of their argument, Bolingbroke and Mowbray threw down their hoods to invite a fight, as opposed to the traditional glove-smack. I would like to see a film in which they throw down their hoods. I think it would be an interesting sight. They also say ‘spake’ instead of ‘spoke’. Thought you ought to know.