COMMENT: A few thoughtful words at Blogging Shakespeare on Richard II, the play that was used in the Essex Rebellion, and that Roland Emmerich probably should have used in his film. 

  • Shakespeare’s sources – Richard II | Blogging Shakespeare

    “It seems that from the historical accounts Shakespeare shaped his play to do two major things. Firstly to highlight the idea of the Kings divine right to rule, an ideology which suggested that no matter how poor a monarch he or she should not be deposed/usurped by a mortal hand. They were put there by God and only God had the right to challenge that rule. However at the same time Shakespeare also highlights and embellishes some of the mistakes that Richard II makes. In Shakespeare’s play he becomes more oblivious to his faults and voices more clearly unpopular, personal, and selfish desires. It is as if whilst Shakespeare dramatizes the divine right of Kings he also shows how flawed those kings may be. Whether this amounts to a critique of the doctrine which allowed kings to rule by right of God, or not is hard to ascertain – but Shakespeare certainly invites us to ask some difficult questions.”

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