The plays of William Shakespeare are generally easy to categorize, and the heroes of these plays are equally so. However, in the history play Richard II, Shakespeare’s king is more ambiguous than Hamlet or Romeo– there is no clear cut answer to whether Richard II is a tragic hero... or simply a tragedy. Historically, Richard II was crowned at a very young age, forced into the role of monarch, and thrust without hesitation into the murky world of political intrigue, which perhaps lends his character sympathy because he had no choice in his fate. However, despite his forced role in life, Richard II seems to rely on the concept of divine right to secure his throne, making no effort to sustain it once it is “irrevocably” his. Richard II is both the tragic hero and the tragedy– simply playing the role of King for the majority of the play, but only coming into his own after he is deposed, and only then to fight for his own existence.
From the beginning of the play, Richard II is apathetic at best in his royal role. By exiling Bolingbroke and...
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- Written during a time of peace immediately following the conclusion of the War of the Roses between the Yorks and the Lancasters, William Shakespeare’s play Richard III showcases a multi-faceted master of linguistic eloquence, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a character who simultaneously manages to be droll, revolting, deadly, yet fascinating. Richard's villainy works in a keen, detestable manner, manifesting itself in his specific use or, rather, abuse of rhetoric. He spends a substantial amount of time directly interacting and therefore breaking the fourth wall and orating to the audience in order to forge a relationship with them, to make members not only his confidants of murderous intenti... [tags: richard, Duke of Gloucester]
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