Is Richard II Saint or Sinner?

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Saint person is associated with doing good things to other people while a sinner refers to individuals who ways and actions targets to harm others. Richard II was a young king of England according to act was written, William Shakespeare. The actions and deeds of this young king have well portrayed his character to be of negative action to many people whom he is their king in England. King Richard was involved in the extraction of his uncle Thomas of Gloucester, but the execution accused to Thomas Mowbray,(Shakespeare & Henry, pp.62-113). This is seen as Gaunt fail to revenge his Gloucester's murderers is because he cannot rise against the king since strongly believe that King Richard II of England is appointed by God. It is also claimed that Richard II himself was involved in a conspiracy with the intention of killing Thomas, his uncle. Killing is associated with evil people, and hence King Richard II association with the killing of his uncle proves him to be a sinner. Throughout the play, most of the people are complaining about the organization, behavior, and action of the Richard II the king, for instance, most of the people are wonders on how king ought to behave. This proves that people are not satisfied with his behavior as a king of England.

King Richard II judgment towards Bolingbroke and Mowbray proves nepotism the king was. He only expelled his cousin Bolingbroke ten years which finally reduced to six years while Mowbray was expelled for life to stay outside England. As a good judge, he could have given both of the equal judgment since they had committed almost similar crimes. King Richard uses is powers and authority as a king to punish Mowbray whom many believes he was involved in the killing of Thomas uncle to the Richard II together with the king himself. Richard is also seen as to be very merciless, both Bolingbroke and Mowbray laments hopelessly have they have been expelled outside England as a punishment but he fails to consider their cry,(Shakespeare & Henry, pp.62-113). Thus proving how cruel Richard II the king was. Richard is very happy when he receives news that his cousin Bolingbroke and whom has many commoners behind him has left England to Europe. He feels relieved that his greatest political enemy now has left the country and hence he can rule and exercise his power in peaceful way without any political rival that can divide England. The evil behavior of King Richard is also seen in his happiness mood after he receives news that his uncle, John of Gaunt father to Bolingbroke was almost to die,(Shakespeare & Henry, pp.62-113).

The king immediately makes plan of selling Gaunt's possession after his death and use that money in his war that he is planning with Ireland. Further, the king has planned to conquer Ireland for no good reason. It seem as if his war with Ireland is just for personal benefits. He also plans to tax England citizens' heavy taxes to finance his war with Ireland and war that has no benefit to the country. He even plans to demand much money from wealthy men and also borrow extra funds from them with the intention that the wealthy men will be compensated from taxpayers' money. His bad leadership is exposed by Gaunt his sick uncle after he pays a visit to him with his supporters after he had received news of his uncle's sickness.

Gaunt rebukes Richard for heavily taxing England people, accepting wrong advice from his advisers who are just flattering him, sending to exile Bolingbroke his son as well as wasting people taxes,(Shakespeare & Henry, pp.62-113). I response, Richard the king becomes irritated and swears that if Gaunt was not from the royal blood, he could have killed him. This proves how the Richard the king had merciless heart. It also shows how Richard was ready to kill anybody who rebuke or condemns his evil behavior/character. Immediately after the of his uncle, Richard goes as per his word, he sells all his uncles wealth without even considering his cousin Bolingbroke since he was the beneficiary of such wealth by the fact that he is the son of Gaunt,(Shakespeare & Henry, pp.62-113). He then sails to fight Ireland with his army. This proves how Richard used his power as a king of England by organizing and leading a war to Ireland.

Instead of King Richard II keeping peace and ensuring that England relates well with other countries, he is only after going for war with his neighbors. After he sets back to England from Ireland and found that already his cousin Bolingbroke has rebelled against him and many lords of his country were against him, he promises that his crown will only be taken after the soil England has been watered by people's blood,(Shakespeare & Henry, pp.62-113). This is as if he only anticipates for war between him and his cousin that would result to massive killing of many England population. This is also another evident of his evilness in him. His cannot lead people fairness and at the same time he don't want somebody else who can lead England fairly to overtake the kingdom. People's happiness after Richard cousin Bolingbroke have overtaken the kingdom also proves how King Richard leadership was cruel. People are throwing rubbish on his head as a sign of fake leadership that had been imposed to them.

The whole play poetic nature, many poetic metaphors have been highly used in this play. But the poetic increases towards the end of the play especially when Richard is parting with his wife as he heads to Pomfret Castle Prison while his wife in order to go back to France. They sigh, kiss each other and weep with many rhythmic poetic words. For instance, weep thou for me in France, I for thee here"",(Shakespeare & Henry, pp.62-113).

Work cited

Shakespeare, William, and Henry Norman Hudson. The complete works of William Shakespeare. Colonial Press, 1900.

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Is Richard II Saint or Sinner?. (2018, Dec 18). Retrieved July 18, 2024 , from

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