Reign of King Richard II

Historical Context Essay

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In the twenty-first century, we are likely to associate the reign of King Richard II (1367-1399; reigned 1377-1399) with two great stories, both linked to William Shakespeare. The principal one is of course Shakespeare's magnificent verse drama about the fall of the man he, and most of his sources, regarded as the last legitimate English king before the Tudor line. That play offers a stern warning from a cleric, that the deposition of King Richard will result in what we now call the Wars of the Roses: “If you crown him [Henry IV, the successor] let me prophesy / The blood of English shall manure the ground/ And future ages groan for this foul act” (4.1.137-139). Shakespeare's play is more a tragedy than a history, in which the …

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Citation: Dougherty, David C.. "Reign of King Richard II". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 February 2005 [, accessed 04 June 2023.]

649 Reign of King Richard II 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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