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Richard II
Act 5, scene 1

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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 1
Enter the Queen with her Attendants.

QUEEN 
 This way the King will come. This is the way
 To Julius Caesar’s ill-erected tower,
 To whose flint bosom my condemnèd lord
 Is doomed a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.
5 Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
 Have any resting for her true king’s queen.

Enter Richard and Guard.

 But soft, but see—or rather do not see
 My fair rose wither; yet look up, behold,
 That you in pity may dissolve to dew
10 And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.—
 Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand,
 Thou map of honor, thou King Richard’s tomb,
 And not King Richard! Thou most beauteous inn,
 Why should hard-favored grief be lodged in thee
15 When triumph is become an alehouse guest?
KING RICHARD 
 Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,
 To make my end too sudden. Learn, good soul,
 To think our former state a happy dream,
 From which awaked, the truth of what we are
179

181
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 1

20 Shows us but this: I am sworn brother, sweet,
 To grim necessity, and he and I
 Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France
 And cloister thee in some religious house.
 Our holy lives must win a new world’s crown,
25 Which our profane hours here have thrown down.
QUEEN 
 What, is my Richard both in shape and mind
 Transformed and weakened? Hath Bolingbroke
 Deposed thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart?
 The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
30 And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
 To be o’er-powered; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
 Take the correction, mildly kiss the rod,
 And fawn on rage with base humility,
 Which art a lion and the king of beasts?
KING RICHARD 
35 A king of beasts indeed. If aught but beasts,
 I had been still a happy king of men.
 Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for
 France.
 Think I am dead and that even here thou takest,
40 As from my deathbed, thy last living leave.
 In winter’s tedious nights sit by the fire
 With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales
 Of woeful ages long ago betid;
 And, ere thou bid good night, to quite their griefs,
45 Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
 And send the hearers weeping to their beds.
 Forwhy the senseless brands will sympathize
 The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
 And in compassion weep the fire out,
50 And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,
 For the deposing of a rightful king.

Enter Northumberland.


183
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 1

NORTHUMBERLAND 
 My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is changed.
 You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.—
 And madam, there is order ta’en for you.
55 With all swift speed you must away to France.
KING RICHARD 
 Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal
 The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
 The time shall not be many hours of age
 More than it is ere foul sin, gathering head,
60 Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,
 Though he divide the realm and give thee half,
 It is too little, helping him to all.
 He shall think that thou, which knowest the way
 To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
65 Being ne’er so little urged another way,
 To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
 The love of wicked men converts to fear,
 That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
 To worthy danger and deservèd death.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
70 My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
 Take leave and part, for you must part forthwith.
KING RICHARD 
 Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate
 A twofold marriage—twixt my crown and me,
 And then betwixt me and my married wife.
75 To Queen. Let me unkiss the oath twixt thee and
 me;
 And yet not so, for with a kiss ’twas made.—
 Part us, Northumberland, I towards the north,
 Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
80 My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp
 She came adornèd hither like sweet May,
 Sent back like Hallowmas or short’st of day.

185
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 1

QUEEN 
 And must we be divided? Must we part?
KING RICHARD 
 Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.
QUEEN, to Northumberland 
85 Banish us both, and send the King with me.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 That were some love, but little policy.
QUEEN 
 Then whither he goes, thither let me go.
KING RICHARD 
 So two together weeping make one woe.
 Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;
90 Better far off than, near, be ne’er the near.
 Go, count thy way with sighs, I mine with groans.
QUEEN 
 So longest way shall have the longest moans.
KING RICHARD 
 Twice for one step I’ll groan, the way being short,
 And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
95 Come, come, in wooing sorrow let’s be brief,
 Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief.
 One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part.
 Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.
They kiss.
QUEEN 
 Give me mine own again. ’Twere no good part
100 To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.
They kiss.
 So, now I have mine own again, begone,
 That I may strive to kill it with a groan.
KING RICHARD 
 We make woe wanton with this fond delay.
 Once more, adieu! The rest let sorrow say.
They exit.