Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:14 am





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Richard II - Act 3 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Nutty for Books


Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Dublin
Thanks: 832
Thanked: 704 times in 604 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: Richard II - Act 3
geo wrote:
jetsam wrote:
Thanks you two for working through this with me - I think it's worth the effort because because the story sort of turns on it, and it's a tricky area. I feel more comfortable with the issues now.
Flann, why the surprise at the priest disguise?

Thank you all for a great discussion. One last comment on Act 3 . . .

I get a sense that Richard abdicates as much as Henry usurps. As Jetsam points out, it is perplexing how the King behaves. He seems to lose faith so quickly that even those around him are confounded. I think you're right that the story really hinges on these few scenes where the King essentially gives up.

There's another speech that I think shows precisely where Richard loses faith . . . just after finding out that Bushy and Green have been executed, and Lord Scroope tells the King that the common people now recognize Bolingbroke as lord. This is where Richard uses the term "Hollow Crown”—the title of the BBC production that spans events in the four plays of the Henriad. He also talks much of death as he does later in scene 2.

KING RICHARD II

No matter where; of comfort no man speak:
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's choose executors and talk of wills:
And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison'd by their wives: some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me, I am a king?
Act 3.1

The above line stands out for me after reading Act 4 . . .
Tradition, form and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:


There’s a phrase—all form, no substance—and I think Richard II’s reign has been like that. The patina of king washes off in this scene, even before he finds that York has “join’d with Bolingbroke” (which isn’t quite true).

After finishing the play, I would say the climax is here in Act 3. The rest of the play is all a bit of housekeeping and setting the stage for Henry IV, Part 1.

Hi Geo,
Good discussion I thought all round. We learn as we go along.
There is real pathos in this speech of Richard's. His identity is a key point in the play I think. He saw himself as divinely anointed child king, raised above other mortals and divinely favoured and protected. He's the star fallen to earth with a crash.

His requesting the mirror and smashing it, is highly symbolic of his self perception going from the illusion of grandeur to the grim reality of mortality.
In a sense his perception is now sharpest of all and he sees there is a hollowness in the crown more clearly than anyone.
All too late.
You have to feel some sympathy for him as thrust as a child into this role of king. He was a tyrannical ruler, perhaps pushed in that direction from early on,but he never understood how to rule other than by force and compulsion.
Richard's speech here is a meditation on mortality as leveler and how fragile kingship really is. He doesn't acknowledge his own misrule as the reason for his overthrow, which is a glaring oversight by him.
Perhaps he doesn't want to, but deep down he must have realised this.

Here's a talk by Mark King on "Richard landlord not king" which underlines how badly he ruled but is interesting on his self identity from about 32 minutes in.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTD94Z7Z4Iw



Last edited by Flann 5 on Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.



The following user would like to thank Flann 5 for this post:
geo
Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:03 am
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Announcements 

• Promote Your Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:33 pm

• Promote Your Non-Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 pm


Recent Posts 
• Please "Check In" here to the American Character discussion!

Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:13 pm

LevV

• Why reading is a good habit

Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:34 pm

princesscookie19

• What are you reading these days?

Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:46 am

princesscookie19

• Young Debut Author: "Timestamp: Musings of an Introverted Black Boy"

Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:04 am

MarcusGranderson

• Poll: What to do about climate change?

Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:00 am

Robert Tulip

• Buy American Character today and join the discussion!

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:51 pm

Chris OConnor

• Please check in here if you're going to join the "The Four Horsemen" discussion!

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:43 pm

Chris OConnor

• American Character - Ch. 1: Maintaining Freedom

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:41 pm

Chris OConnor

• American Character - Ch. 2: Two Paths to Tyranny

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:40 pm

Chris OConnor

• American Character - Ch. 3: The Rival Americans

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:40 pm

Chris OConnor

• American Character - Ch. 4: The Elite and the Masses (1607 - 1876)

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:39 pm

Chris OConnor

• American Character - Ch. 5: The Rise and Fall of Laissez-Faire (1877-1930)

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:38 pm

Chris OConnor

• American Character - Ch. 6: The Rise and Fall of National Liberalism (1933 - 1967)

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:37 pm

Chris OConnor

• American Character - Ch. 7: Dixie Takes Over (1968 - 2008)

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:37 pm

Chris OConnor

• American Character - Ch. 8: Rise of the Radicals (2008-)

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:36 pm

Chris OConnor


Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank