Richard II at Winedale

Richard II at Winedale

Passing note, here, all I could quickly dig up on Richard II. Other historical note on R II. All six and seven. Preparing, as I was, for this play, I stumbled through some arcane material, and I recall I used some of that in a horoscope. It was about how the play, each play, but this play is more self-evident, in that it takes place in several places, at several times.

There is the time when the play was written about, that point in history depicted in the play. Reign of Richard II, roughly 1377-99. Then there is the rheumy, sentimental eyes of time, and that sets the play in late Elizabethan England, when Shakespeare “penned” the play. Then, there is the time it was first performed, and to end it, the time it is performed now.

Of note, then, there is also the time when the play is seen, in our current era, with a current sensibilities.

Richard II

Shakespeare’s Richard II was performed, as part of the Essex Revolt, that quickly went nowhere. The King’s men escaped by pointing it was paid gig. Seriously, it was used as propaganda. Failed, but have to admire the pluck of the rebels.

Richard II

One casual, off-the-cuff comment from a podcast? Richard II and Henry V are bookends in the quartet. The point was that the character, King Richard II and the character, King Henry V, as two depictions of the same person. Poet and warrior. Two sides of the same character.

Or, a king usurped and king who should be king. Bookends. Or the usurped and the usurper’s offspring. Matched pair of thematic bookends.

“As kings and queens bow and play for you…”

  • The Outlaws, “Green Grass and High Tides.”

Historical naming conventions? Quarto published during Shakespeare’s time? It was titled The Tragedie of Richard II whereas, the first folio called it The Life and Death of Richard the Second — no wonder we’re confused by titles.

Richard II at Winedale

The play is about a fall of King Richard II, and the way Henry IV gets the throne. While there might be some dubious claim that Henry IV is the rightful heir, his son, mentioned in passing towards the end, it’s clear by the end of the cycle that he is a rightful king. And Price Hal wastes his nights in drunken revelries? Good bit of foreshadowing, there.

Unconnected, there’s a series of sycophant characters, Bushy, Baggot, and Green. Anytime I would hear the names, I just kept thinking, late night TV? “Were you injured in an accident? Call Bushy, Baggot, and Green — now! The number is on your screen for Bushy, Baggot, and Green.”

Richard II at Winedale

Falling back into the corridors of time, I kept trying to recall a performance onstage, in the new — at the time — Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside. As a reference point, if I had better recall, it would make lively point-counterpoint.

What I do recall was the utter despair and loneliness from that actor’s version, and this time, the actor played the king as a more noble character.

The play itself, other than its historical antecedents, not really a big-ticket draw, it was well-done in the sultry summer heat on that afternoon. Certainly well-performed.

It’s a play that deserves more than a cursory glance, nearly all written in verse.

Shakespeare at Winedale (Round Top, TX)

Previously

(Footnote linkage?)

Richard II and Julius Caesar with another Richard II mention, and aloud.

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