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King Richard the Second

William Shakespeare


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Description

King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in approximately 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England (ruled 1377–1399) and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; and Henry V. It may not have been written as a stand-alone work.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

This book has 133 pages in the PDF version, and was originally written in 1595.

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Excerpt from 'King Richard the Second'

London. KING RICHARD II's palace.

Enter KING RICHARD II, JOHN OF GAUNT, with other Nobles and Attendants

KING RICHARD II

Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster,
Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,
Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son,
Here to make good the boisterous late appeal,
Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?

JOHN OF GAUNT

I have, my liege.

KING RICHARD II

Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him,
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
Or worthily, as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?

JOHN OF GAUNT

As near as I could sift him on that argument,
On some apparent danger seen in him
Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.

KING RICHARD II

Then call them to our presence; face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser and the accused freely speak:
High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.

Enter HENRY BOLINGBROKE and THOMAS MOWBRAY

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

Many years of happy days befal
My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!

THOMAS MOWBRAY

Each day still better other's happiness;
Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap,
Add an immortal title to your crown!

KING RICHARD II

We thank you both: yet one but flatters us,
As well appeareth by the cause you come;
Namely to appeal each other of high treason.
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?

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