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Richard II

Written: 1595 Texts: Quartos 1597, 1608, First Folio 1623 (History)
Source: Hall, Edward (1498-1547). The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (3rd. ed., 1550); Holinshed, Raphael (c. 1528-c. 1580). The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland. (2nd ed., 1587); Anonymous. Thomas of Woodstock(c. 1592); Froissart, Jean(c.1337-1410). Chroniques (1495?)(John Bourchier's English translation in 1523-5); William Baldwin ed. The Mirror for Magistrates (1559 ed.); Daniel, Samuel (c.1562-1619). The Civil Wars between the Two Houses of Lancaster and York (1595-1609)
Characters: Richard II, Henry Bullingbrook, Edmund of Langley Duke of York, John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, Earl of Northumberland, Thomas Mowbray, Queen to Richard, Duchess of York, Duke of Aumerle
Setting: London and Wales
Time: AD 1398-1400

Xxx xxx

Alas, the part I had in Woodstock’s blood

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Gaunt 
Alas, the part I had in Woodstock’s blood
Doth more solicit me than your exclaims
To stir against the butchers of his life.
But since correction lieth in those hands
Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven,
Who, when they see the hours ripe on Earth,
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Scene 1
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Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes

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King Richard, to Gaunt
Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy grievèd heart. Thy sad aspect
Hath from the number of his banished years
Plucked four away. To Bolingbroke. Six frozen winters spent,
Return with welcome home from banishment.
Bolingbroke
How long a time lies in one little word!
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Act 1
Scene 3
Line 212

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Will the King come, that I may breathe my last

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Gaunt
Will the King come, that I may breathe my last
In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?
York
Vex not yourself nor strive not with your breath,
For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.

This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
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Act 2
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My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your Majesty

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Northumberland
My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your Majesty.
King Richard
What says he?
Northumberland
Nay, nothing; all is said.
His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.
York
Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
Though death be poor,
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Act 2
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Line 154

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Show me thy humble heart and not thy knee

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York
Show me thy humble heart and not thy knee,
Whose duty is deceivable and false.
Bolingbroke, standing
My gracious uncle—

Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.
I am no traitor’s uncle, and that word “grace”
In an ungracious mouth is but profane.

York
Tut,
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Act 2
Scene 3
Line 87

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What must the King do now?

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What must the King do now? Must he submit?
The King shall do it. Must he be deposed?
The King shall be contented. Must he lose
The name of king? I’ God’s name, let it go.
I’ll give my jewels for a set of beads,
My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
My gay apparel for an almsman’s gown,

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Act 3
Scene 3
Line 148

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My lord, dispatch. Read o’er these articles

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Northumberland
My lord, dispatch. Read o’er these articles.
King Richard
Mine eyes are full of tears; I cannot see.
And yet salt water blinds them not so much
But they can see a sort of traitors here.

O, that I were a mockery king of snow
Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
To melt myself away in water drops.
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Act 4
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Line 254

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Good king, great king, and yet not greatly good

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King Richard
Good king, great king, and yet not greatly good,
An if my word be sterling yet in England,
Let it command a mirror hither straight,
That it may show me what a face I have
Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
Bolingbroke
Go, some of you, and fetch a looking-glass.
 An Attendant exits.
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Act 4
Scene 1
Line 274

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Rise up, good aunt

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King Henry
Rise up, good aunt.
Duchess
Not yet, I thee beseech.
Forever will I walk upon my knees
And never see day that the happy sees,
Till thou give joy, until thou bid me joy
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
Aumerle, kneeling
Unto my mother’s prayers I bend my knee.
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Act 5
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I have been studying how I may compare

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I have been studying how I may compare
This prison where I live unto the world;
And for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it; yet I’ll hammer it out.
My brain I’ll prove the female to my soul,
My soul the father, and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts;
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Act 5
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