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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Richard and Bolingbroke
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1280  Wednesday, 25 June 2003

From:           L. Swilley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 2003 10:19:33 -0500
Subject: 14.1277 Richard and Bolingbroke
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1277 Richard and Bolingbroke

Todd Pettigrew wrote,

>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.

And so it should seem to you - and to anyone - inasmuch as the soul of
this play is the opposing characters of these two men: one a weak
show-off, wallowing in the theatrical aspects of his plight, the other a
commanding realist ready to take advantage of any opportunity for
control.  To lose this is to lose the play entirely.

L. Swilley

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