King Richard II is a historical play by William Shakespeare about the life and downfall of King Richard II of England. After acting as a judge between Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray, the two decide to duel instead. King Richard banishes both of them before they can fight. Years later, after King Richard has become unpopular because of his expanding wealth, Henry sneaks back, overthrowing Richard (who is eventually imprisoned and killed) and becoming King.
The Tragedy of King Richard the Second is a play written by William Shakespeare around 1595 and based on the life of King Richard II of England. It is the first part of a tetralogy referred to by scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV, Part I; Henry IV, Part II; and Henry V.
The fly-slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exile;—
The hopeless word of— Never to return,
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
Norfolk: A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,And all unlook'd for from your highness' mouth:
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
As to be cast forth in the common air
Have I deserved at your highness' hands.
The language I have learn'd these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue's use is to me no more
Than an unstringed viol, or a harp;
Or like a cunning instrument cas'd up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue,
Doubly porcullis'd with my teeth and lips;
And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now;
What is thy sentence then but speechless death
Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
Teach thy necessity to reason thus;
There is no virtue like necessity.
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite,
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December snow,
By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?
O, no! the apprehension of the good
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain.
Writ in remembrance, more than things long past.
This other Eden, demi-paradise;
This fortress built by Nature for herself,
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth.
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord.
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth;
Let's choose executors, and talk of wills:
And yet not so— for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all, are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death;
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd;
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd— for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps Death his court: and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene
To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit—
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable— and, humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and— farewell king!
And his pure soul unto his captain Christ,
Under whose colours he had fought so long.
Were then but subjects; being now a subject,
I have a king here to my flatterer.
Being so great, I have no need to beg.
That you in pity may dissolve to dew,
And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious.
Nor shall not be the last.