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Richard II - Act 4 
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Post Richard II - Act 4
Richard II, Act 4

Please use this thread for discussing Richard II, Act 4.



Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:34 am
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Post Re: Richard II - Act 4
Act 4 consists of just one scene, taking place at Westminster Hall, where Henry Bolingbroke seems to be trying to sort out allegations regarding Gloucester's death. There's much gage-throwing here and insults and I wonder if Shakespeare is shooting for some comic relief. Indeed, I can easily imagine Monty Python playing this scene for laughs.

But then we have the very somber scene of Richard formally abdicating the throne. There's real pathos when he asks to see a mirror and then throws it to the ground in anguish.

I can't recall seeing an act with only one scene. Maybe it's unusual in the Shakespeare canon.


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Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:05 pm
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Post Re: Richard II - Act 4
geo wrote:
There's much gage-throwing here ...

There is indeed - it seems madness that men would be so eager to risk their lives at the drop of a hat as it were. Poor old Aumerle has to fight Fitzwater, Percy and another lord, and Fitzwater has to fight Aumerle and Surrey. Chances of surviving all that would be pretty slim. Sounds crazy - and this was peacetime!

The other interesting side event in this short act is that this is where Bagot seems to escape the chop. Bushy and Green have already been despatched, but here Bagot has cleverly hinted that he has information about Gloucester's death, and this seems enough to distract Bolingbroke's attention from dealing with him.

At the end of the scene, after Richard has been deposed, Carlisle has a premonition of the violence that this act will lead to:

BISHOP OF CARLISLE
"The woe's to come; the children yet unborn.
Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn."

Richard was deposed in 1399 - the Wars of the Roses did not end until 1485.



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Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:38 am
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Post Re: Richard II - Act 4
Quote:
Geo wrote:
I can't recall seeing an act with only one scene.


And what a scene it is, It reminds me of an old Rush song "Working Man", The dynamics are so intense that at the end even though your fairly spent you'd like a little more, but what more needs to be said and done.

The closet is wide open, the truth of a matter has been settled. Richard no longer king, Bolingbroke saves his own, conspirators lurk about in plain sight, Aumerle skates away on the thin ice of a new day.( thanks to Jethro Tull for the last bit)

ABBOT:
A woeful pageant have we here beheld

and later from ABBOT "a plot shall show us all a merry day"

WS has no compunction when it comes to commanding your imagination to peak around corners.



Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:41 pm
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