King Richard II Essay

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Source: "The Silent King: Providential Intervention, Fair Sequence and Succession," in Shakespearean Politics: Government and Misgovernment in the Great Histories, Ohio University Press, 1983, pp. 62-70.

[In the following excerpt, Thayer examines Bolingbroke's silence regarding the motivations far his actions. Thayer suggests several reasons why Shakespeare omitted sum crucial information and suggests that the result if sum omissions is that Shakespeare "cleans up" the image if the historical Bolingbroke.]

One of the most striking facts about the Bolingbroke of Richard II is that at critical points he does not tell us what he is thinking about or what he plans to do. He takes important actions that must certainly have been based on hard decisions- or so it would seem; but the decisions we hear him utter are almost redundant: "In God's name I'll ascend the regal throne" (IV.i.113); "On Wednesday next we solemnly set down/Our coronation...

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This section contains 3,190 words
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Buy the King Richard II Study Guide
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King Richard II from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.