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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Richard and Bolingbroke
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1306  Friday, 27 June 2003

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Jun 2003 17:30:56 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1297 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Jun 2003 21:01:58 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1297 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Jun 2003 17:30:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1297 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1297 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke

At the same time, the Woodstock affair - and Richard's guiltiness in it
- are a factor in Bolingbroke's challenge. Perhaps he knows that Mowbray
had a direct hand in it. Perhaps he even suspects Richard gave the word
and is trying to flush out an evil sycophant, as he does with Bushy and
Green.  Nevertheless, why such a harsh punishment for Mowbray? Eternal
banishment versus Bolingbroke's six years.  Perhaps Richard intends to
cover-up the Woodstock matter. Regardless, the audience had recently
seen a play dealing with the matter and were familiar with the back
story.

I tend to believe that Bolingbroke, despite his shrewdness, sort of
falls into the crown. Remember that the nobility of those times were
consistently fighting each other over material wealth. Even John of
Gaunt and his nephew Richard were at serious odds over many an issue.
They sometimes came to blows. It feels to me that this was acceptable
behavior in order to mediate material possessions. It became treasonous
if hands were raised against the person of the king with intent to maim
or depose. Richard assumes this is so, but surprisingly acquiesces to
Bolingbroke from the moment he returns from Ireland.

At the same time, I can buy that Bolingbroke planned it all along. I
just feel that it is entirely possible to also believe that Bolingbroke
honestly just wants his honor, name and land back. When Richard offers
up the crown, he will, of course, oblige. But look at Edward II: how
many times do the nobles raise arms against Edward in order to change
his mind, force his hand, make him reform his deviant ways? Finally,
they decide to dispose of him. In Richard II, I think it is more of a
matter of Richard deposing himself - the consummate drama queen and
martyr. The beauty is that the play is ambiguous enough to support
strong performances of either motivation in Bolingbroke.

Eternally fascinated by this play,
Brian Willis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 26 Jun 2003 21:01:58 -0400
Subject: 14.1297 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1297 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke

>The interesting point is, I think, that Richard for all his faults, may
>well have been aware of just this point of the danger posed by
>Bolingbroke, which is why he exiled him in the first place.

Let us not forget that Bolingbroke was one of the Lords Appellant, so
his opposition to Richard was hardly a secret.

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