The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1277 Tuesday, 24 June 2003
Date: Tuesday, 24 Jun 2003 10:03:49 -0300
Subject: Richard and Bolingbroke
Thanks to all who gave helpful suggestions about Shakespeare in London
this June. In the end, my resources allowed me only one production,
Richard II at the Globe which I recommend to all who have the chance to
see it: well acted and elegantly designed.
My only real objection was this: I have always felt that Bolingbroke
returns to England ready to depose Richard all along and that his words
to the contrary (i.e. that he only seeks the return of his ancestral
lands and property) are lies and everyone knows it, including Richard
who knows he is being forced to step down. In the current production at
the Globe, though, the actor playing Bolingbroke seems to play it as
though he believes what he says, and appears genuinely surprised when
Richard announces he will abdicate. This interpretation muddles the
middle of the play -- or so it seemed to me.
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