Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard Act 5, Scenes 1 and 2


okie dokie kiddies. i'm hard core attacking my 5 things to do today: Shakespeare, crunches, work, laundry, read Gem of the Ocean. i got this on lock! if you are reading this, i'm telling you that this 5 goals a day thing really works! check it out. but annnyyyywayyyy, this play is getting good! man, i was really into it when i was reading this morning. check it out...

act 5, scene 1
the Queen is on the path toward the Tower, waiting for Richard to come along the path. when Richard comes by, he begs her not to grieve and to go immediately to France. the Queen cannot believe that he is going out with a whimper instead of a growl. (see quote below.) Richard is VERY 'woe is me' and yet begs his wife not to grieve too much. Northumberland enters with news for Richard. instead of going to the Tower, Bolingbroke has decided to send Richard to Pomfret Castle in Yorkshire. Richard warns Northumberland that corruption leads to more corruption. it won't be long before Bolingbroke will realize that if Northumberland can overthrow one king, he can surely overthrow another. he finishes his warning with: 'the love of wicked men converts to fear,/that fear to hate, and hate turns one or both/to worthy danger and deserved death.' the Queen begs Northumberland to banish both of them, but he says no. she also begs him to let her go with Richard. Richard points out that if they go together, they still won't be able to see each other. they kiss as they part, so full of grief to leave each other.

act 5, scene 2
the Duchess of York is asking the Duke of York to recount what just happened when Bolingbroke and Richard arrived in London. when Bolingbroke arrived, the "greedy" citizens of London cheered him on. when Richard arrived, however, no one cheered, and people threw things at him. Aumerle, their son, arrives. he has been stripped of his title for being a supporter of Richard. York notices that Aumerle has a document on him and demands to see it. Aumerle resists, but eventually York gets it from him. when he reads it, he is shocked to see words of treason. Aumerle has entered into a pact to assassinate Bolingbroke. York will not stand for this treason. although the Duchess begs him not to, York heads out to inform Bolingbroke of this treason. after he leaves, the Duchess sends Aumerle to beat him to Bolingbroke and get out of this mess. she will not be far behind.

one little random thing that's interesting to me- in the beginning of the act, the Queen refers to the Tower of London as being Julius Caesar's. apparently tradition of the time called it Caesar's, but it was actually built by William the Conqueror to keep London in check. interesting! thanks for the history lesson Mr. Bevington.

Richard is seriously playing the martyr here. i understand that he's lost his kingdom, but does he not remember that he was kind of a crappy king? is he not aware? or is his memory just selective? i'm not sure whether or not the answers are in the text. if not, these would be some interesting actor questions. again, i'd love to see this onstage.

what is the significance of Pomfret Castle vs. the Tower? the castle sounds less intense. true or false?

quote of the day:
'what, is my Richard both in shape and mind
transformed and weakened? hath Bolingbroke
deposed thine intellect? hath he been in thy heart?
the lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
and wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
to be o'erpowered; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
take the correction, mildly kiss the rod,
and fawn on rage with base humility,
which art a lion and the king of beasts?'
   -Queen; act 5, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of the play!

-rebecca may

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