Richard vs Henry: Foils for Life

Something I noticed as I was reading the first two acts was that Henry Bolingbroke is King Richard II’s foil. Henry brings out the true flaws of Richard. Henry is a brave man willing to risk his life to prove his beliefs true. For example in Act 1 Scene 1, he agrees to duel Thomas Mowbray just to prove to Richard that Mowbray is a criminal. On top of that he is willing to lead a rebellion to take over Richard II’s throne. If he were to fail he would have to give up his life for committing treason. Richard describes Henry as a person who was loved by the lower class, “Observed his courtship to the common people; How he did seem to dive into their hearts With humble and familiar courtesy… (1.4.?)” In the end when Richard leaves to go to Ireland, Henry is able to convince people under Richard to join his rebellion. On the other hand, Richard is completely different.  He is not fit to wear the crown. He does not listen to the advice of his family members like John of Gaunt. Rather he is easily swayed by his selfish advisors. Richard is a big spender and has emptied the funds of England. To fund his war in Ireland, he decides to borrow money from the wealthy and tax the lower class. There is no question that Richard is hated by most of society. In the end Henry’s heroic traits magnifies Richard’s flawed traits.