Richard II

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Queen with her attendants


This way the King will come. This is the way

To Julius Caesar's ill-erected Tower,
ill-erected (adj.) built for wicked ends

To whose flint bosom my condemned lord
flint (n.) 2 flint-like, hard, merciless

Is doomed a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.

Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth

Have any resting for her true King's Queen.

Enter Richard and guard

But soft, but see, or rather do not see,

My fair rose wither. Yet look up, behold,

That you in pity may dissolve to dew

And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.

Ah, thou the model where old Troy did stand!
model (n.) 3 ground-plan, layout, outline

Thou map of honour, thou King Richard's tomb,
map (n.) 2 epitome, embodiment, incarnation

And not King Richard! Thou most beauteous inn,

Why should hard-favoured grief be lodged in thee

When triumph is become an alehouse guest?


Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,

To make my end too sudden. Learn, good soul,

To think our former state a happy dream,
state (n.) 4 splendour, magnificence, stateliness, dignity

From which awaked the truth of what we are

Shows us but this. I am sworn brother, sweet,
brother, sworn companion-in-arms, devoted friend

To grim Necessity, and he and I

Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France,
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count

And cloister thee in some religious house.

Our holy lives must win a new world's crown

Which our profane hours here have thrown down.


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 thy correction, mildly kiss the rod,

And fawn on rage with base humility,
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count

Which art a lion and a king of beasts?


A king of beasts indeed! If aught but beasts
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

I had been still a happy king of men.
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

Good sometimes queen, prepare thee hence for France.
sometimes (adj.) sometime, former, at one time

Think I am dead, and that even here thou takest

As from my deathbed thy last living leave.

In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire

With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales

Of woeful ages long ago betid;
betide (v.) 2 happen, take place, befall

And ere thou bid goodnight, to quite their griefs
quite (v.) [= requite] reward, repay, recompense

Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,

And send the hearers weeping to their beds;

For why the senseless brands will sympathize
senseless (adj.) 1 lacking human sensation, incapable of feeling
sympathize (v.) 2 respond to, match, answer to

The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

And in compassion weep the fire out;

And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,

For the deposing of a rightful king.

Enter Northumberland


My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is changed.

You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.

And, madam, there is order ta'en for you:
order, take make arrangements

With all swift speed you must away to France.


Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal

The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,

The time shall not be many hours of age

More than it is ere foul sin, gathering head,

Shalt break into corruption. Thou shalt think,

Though he divide the realm and give thee half,

It is too little, helping him to all.

He shall think that thou, which knowest the way

To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,

Being ne'er so little urged another way,

To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.

The love of wicked men converts to fear,

That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both

To worthy danger and deserved death.
worthy (adj.) 2 deserved, justified, warranted


My guilt be on my head, and there an end.

Take leave and part, for you must part forthwith.
part (v.) 1 depart [from], leave, quit


Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate

A two-fold marriage – 'twixt my crown and me,

And then betwixt me and my married wife.

(To Queen Isabel)

Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me;

And yet not so; for with a kiss 'twas made.

– Part us, Northumberland: I towards the north,

Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
clime (n.) land, region, realm
pine (v.) 2 afflict, wear out, cause to waste away

My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp

She came adorned hither like sweet May,

Sent back like Hallowmas or shortest of day.


And must we be divided? Must we part?


Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.


(To Northumberland)

Banish us both, and send the King with me.


That were some love, but little policy.
policy (n.) 1 statecraft, statesmanship, diplomacy


Then whither he goes, thither let me go.


So two together weeping make one woe.

Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here.

Better far off than, near, be ne'er the nea'er.

Go count thy way with sighs, I mine with groans.


So longest way shall have the longest moans.


Twice for one step I'll groan, the way being short,

And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count
piece out (v.) 2 prolong, extend, drag out

Come, come – in wooing sorrow let's be brief,

Since wedding it, there is such length in grief.

One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part.

Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.

They kiss


Give me mine own again. 'Twere no good part

To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.

They kiss

So, now I have mine own again, be gone,

That I may strive to kill it with a groan.


We make woe wanton with this fond delay.
fond (adj.) 1 foolish, stupid, mad
fond (adj.) 3 tender, loving, affectionate
wanton (adj.) 3 unrestrained, undisciplined, boisterous, uncontrolled

Once more, adieu. The rest let sorrow say.


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