William Shakespeare, Richard II

Hugh Grady (Arcadia University, (formerly Beaver College))
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King Richard II

is today considered one of Shakespeare’s most important history plays and one with many unique qualities. In writing

King Richard II

in 1595, Shakespeare was returning to the subject of English history which had led to four plays a few years earlier in his career--

1, 2, and 3 Henry VI

and

Richard III

(the so-called first historical tetralogy), probably written and performed between 1591 and 1593.

King Richard II

in turn was the first of four additional connected history plays (the “second tetralogy”) depicting events in the era preceding the earlier ones. The first tetralogy had depicted the bloody Wars of the Roses, an aristocratic civil war between the houses of York and Lancaster for control of the English throne. The second tetralogy is set in the generation…

2991 words

Citation: Grady, Hugh. "Richard II". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2004; last revised 21 November 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2372, accessed 23 June 2024.]

2372 Richard II 3 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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