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Compare Richard II with Richard III

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Author: William Shakespeare William Shakespeare
Brief Author Bio: Though he is perhaps the most famous writer in history, much of Shakespeare’s life remains a mystery. His father was a glove-maker, and the young Shakespeare received no more than a grammar school education. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582… more Shakespeare's father was a glove-maker, and Shakespeare received no more than a grammar school education. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582, but left his family behind around 1590 and moved to London, where he became an actor and playwright. He… more
Historical Context: Richard II takes place during two years of the life of England’s King Richard II, who reigned from 1377 to 1399. Born the grandson of Edward III and a member of the Plantagenet family, Richard II inherited the throne as… more The Wars of the Roses were a series of English wars fought between 1455 and 1485 among the House of Lancaster and the House of York, two rival lines of the royal House of Plantagenet who both claimed the right… Richard III.' href='#'>more
When Written: 1595 c. 1592
Where Written: London London
When Published: 1597 (Quarto) 1597
Literary Period: Elizabethan England The Renaissance
Genre: History Play History play
Setting: England, Wales England
Climax: Richard relinquishes the throne and Henry is crowned King Henry IV Richard pretending not to want the crown, then finally deferring to Buckingham and the Lord Mayor's entreaties to take it.
Antagonist: Richard II / Henry Bolingbroke (later King Henry IV) Richard
Plot Summary Richard II begins with a dispute between Henry Bolingbroke, King Richard’s cousin, and Thomas Mowbray. Both Henry and Mowbray accuse each other of treason, and Henry also accuses Mowbray of conspiring to murder the king’s uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. The irony here, as expressed in the next scene by Henry’s father, John of Gaunt, is that everyone knows that Richard himself was involved in Gloucester’s murder. After Gaunt and Richard are unable to calm the men down, Henry and Mowbray agree... It is approximately 1485 in England and Richard of Gloucester is incensed that his brother King Edward has taken the throne after numerous civil wars fought between their family (the House of York) and the House of Lancaster. Richard feels excluded from everyone's peacetime celebrations because he was born unattractive, has a hunchback, and lacks love. Instead of frolicking, he has contrived a plot to make himself king. He's turned King Edward against their brother George of Clarence (next...
Major Characters: King Richard II, Henry Bolingbroke / King Henry IV, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Edmund of Langley, Duke of York Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III, Richmond, King Henry VII, Duke of Buckingham, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Margaret, Lady Anne, Queen Anne
Minor Characters: Duke of Aumerle, Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, Duke of Surrey, Earl of Salisbury, Lord Berkeley, John Bushy, John Bagot, Henry Green, Earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy / Hotspur, Lord Ross, Lord Willoughby, Lord Fitzwater, Bishop of Carlisle, Abbot of Westminster, Lord Marshal, First Herald, Second Herald, Sir Stephen Scroop, Sir Pierce of Exton, Captain of a Band of Welshmen, Queen to King Richard, Queen’s Ladies-in-Waiting, Duchess of York, Duchess of Gloucester, Duke of Gloucester, Edward III King Edward IV, George, Duke of Clarence, Duchess of York, Edward, Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Lord Stanley, Lord Hastings, Lord Mayor of London, The Three Citizens, Scrivener, The Two Murderers, Ghost of King Henry VI, Ghost of Edward of Westminster, Sir William Catesby, Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Surrey, Sir Richard Ratcliffe, Lord Lovel, Earl of Oxford, Sir Walter Herbert, Sir James Blunt, Sir William Brandon, Sir James Tyrrell, Earl Rivers, Marquis of Dorset, Lord Richard Grey, Sir Thomas Vaughan, Sir Robert Brackenbury, The Sheriff of Wiltshire, The Bishop of Ely, The Archbishop of York, Cardinal Bouchier, Sir Christopher Urswick, Margaret Plantagenet, Edward Plantagenet, The Priest, The Pursuivant, A Page, The Alderman
Related Literary Works: Richard II is the first play in the tetralogy of Shakespeare plays known as the Henriad, which also includes Henry IV Part 1, and Henry IV Part 2, and Henry V. Together, the plays enact the historic… more Richard III is related to the tetralogy of history plays including Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V that is sometimes called the Henriad. Those plays track the reigns of King Richard II, King… Richard III opens.' href='#'>more
Extra Credit: Richard II is one of Shakespeare’s only plays containing no prose whatsoever. The entirety of the play is made up of verse, 81 percent of which is blank, meaning non-rhyming. By contrast, the other plays in the Henriad are around… more Though Shakespeare chose to portray Richard with a serious hunchback, the historical king had scoliosis, not a hunchback, and would not have appeared as severely deformed as he looks in the play. Sources available at Shakespeare's time described Richard's condition… more
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