King Richard II Essay | The Words of the Dying Gaunt

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The Words of the Dying Gaunt

Summary: This essay is an analysis of John of Gaunt's speech from Shakespeare's "Richard II."
The idea of England as a second paradise in a postlapsarian world was a popular thought in Shakespeare's day. Not only did Englanders compare their land the to Biblical Eden, but also to Classical legends that would have flourished in the Renaissance era. The fact that Britain is an island isolated from the rest of the world invited the comparison of England to mythical islands such as the Islands of the Blest and Homer's Ogygia (Mackenzie 319). Such comparisons surely originated in the strong patriotism that thrived in the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare capitalized on this feeling through his history plays, which both instructed his audience on England's past and fed the patriotic ego of her citizens (Reese 46). Nowhere does Shakespeare more humor his audience with the nostalgic idea of England as a paradise than in John of Gaunt's famous speech in the second act of...

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This section contains 1,277 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Student Essay on The Words of the Dying Gaunt
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