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Richard II
Act 2, scene 4

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Entire Play

In Richard II, anger at a king’s arbitrary rule leads to his downfall—and sets in motion a decades-long struggle for the…

Act 1, scene 1

Henry Bolingbroke, King Richard’s cousin, publicly accuses Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, of treason. Among Bolingbroke’s charges is that Mowbray…

Act 1, scene 2

The widow of the duke of Gloucester begs John of Gaunt to avenge the murder of her husband. Gaunt says…

Act 1, scene 3

Bolingbroke and Mowbray prepare to fight to the death. King Richard suddenly calls off the fight and banishes Mowbray for…

Act 1, scene 4

Richard makes plans to fight in person in Ireland. To obtain money for the war against the Irish, he leases…

Act 2, scene 1

John of Gaunt, knowing that he is dying, speaks plainly to Richard about his deficiencies as king. Richard expresses his…

Act 2, scene 2

As the Queen grieves for Richard’s departure, news comes that Bolingbroke has landed in England with an army. As York…

Act 2, scene 3

Bolingbroke and Northumberland, just outside Berkeley Castle, meet young Henry Percy, Northumberland’s son. When the duke of York enters, he…

Act 2, scene 4

The Welsh troops, having waited ten days for Richard’s return, disperse. The earl of Salisbury predicts that Richard stands at…

Act 3, scene 1

Bolingbroke sentences Bushy and Green to death.

Act 3, scene 2

Richard, landing in England, greets his kingdom and expresses certainty that God will protect him against Bolingbroke’s threat. He learns…

Act 3, scene 3

Bolingbroke, approaching Flint Castle, learns that Richard is within. In answer to Bolingbroke’s trumpets, Richard and Aumerle appear on the…

Act 3, scene 4

Richard’s queen overhears a gardener describing Richard’s downfall and probable deposition.

Act 4, scene 1

Bolingbroke seeks information about the duke of Gloucester’s death. Bagot implicates Aumerle, and several nobles challenge Aumerle and each other….

Act 5, scene 1

Richard and his queen say their farewells, she to be sent to France, he to Pomfret Castle.

Act 5, scene 2

The duke of York expresses his sympathy for Richard but declares his allegiance to King Henry. When York discovers that…

Act 5, scene 3

Aumerle reaches King Henry and begs a pardon for an unnamed offence. The duke of York arrives and reveals the…

Act 5, scene 4

Sir Pierce Exton, reflecting on King Henry’s wish that Richard be removed, decides to carry out that wish.

Act 5, scene 5

Richard, imprisoned at Pontefract Castle, is visited by a former groom of his stable and then by the prison Keeper….

Act 5, scene 6

News is brought to Henry about the capture and punishment of rebel leaders. Henry pardons the bishop of Carlisle. Exton…

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Scene 4
Enter Earl of Salisbury and a Welsh Captain.

WELSH CAPTAIN 
 My Lord of Salisbury, we have stayed ten days
 And hardly kept our countrymen together,
 And yet we hear no tidings from the King.
 Therefore we will disperse ourselves. Farewell.
SALISBURY 
5 Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman.
 The King reposeth all his confidence in thee.
WELSH CAPTAIN 
 ’Tis thought the King is dead. We will not stay.
 The bay trees in our country are all withered,
 And meteors fright the fixèd stars of heaven;
10 The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the Earth,
 And lean-looked prophets whisper fearful change;
 Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap,
 The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
 The other to enjoy by rage and war.
15 These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
 Farewell. Our countrymen are gone and fled,
 As well assured Richard their king is dead.
He exits.
SALISBURY 
 Ah, Richard! With the eyes of heavy mind
 I see thy glory like a shooting star
20 Fall to the base earth from the firmament.
 Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
 Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest.
 Thy friends are fled to wait upon thy foes,
 And crossly to thy good all fortune goes.
He exits.