Monthly Archives: May 2012

“A brittle glory shineth in this face;/As brittle as the glory is the face.”

Richard II Act Four, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ————————————- More from Marjorie Garber on language, symbols, and the loss of a crown: “Indeed, all around Richard in the opening scenes of the play language itself seems to be dying.  … Continue reading

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“You may my glories and my state depose,/But not my griefs; still am I king of those.”

Richard II Act Four, Part One By Dennis Abrams —————————————- Act Four:  As Bolingbroke attempts to discover the truth behind Gloucester’s murder in Parliament, Richard’s abdication is announced.  Carlisle warns that civil war will break out if Bolingbroke becomes king, … Continue reading

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“O, that I were a mockery king of snow,/Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke/To melt myself away in water-drops!”

Richard II Act Three, Part Two By Dennis Abrams —————————— For me, we probably have yet to read a line from Shakespeare more haunting than “For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground/And tell sad stories about the death … Continue reading

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“For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground /And tell sad stories about the death of kings.”

Richard II Act Three, Part One By Dennis Abrams ——————————— Act Three:  Returning to face the emergency from Ireland, Richard faces an impossible situation:  his army has been dispersed, three of his closest friends have been executed by Bolingbroke, and … Continue reading

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“What dies with John of Gaunt? Nothing less than a vision of the world.”

Richard II Act Two, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ————————- As I was re-reading Act Two of Richard II last night, I was struck by the bitterness in the exchange between the dying John of Gaunt, Ill in myself to … Continue reading

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“This happy little breed of men, this little world,/This precious stone set in the silver sea,/Which serves it in the office of a wall,/Or as the moat defensive to a house /Against the envy of less happier lands;/This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England…”

Richard II Act Two, Part One By Dennis Abrams ——————————— Act Two:  Joined by the Duke of York, the dying Gaunt bemoans the state of the country, which is struggling under Richard’s increasingly unpopular rule – a point that Gaunt … Continue reading

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“We will descend and fold him in our arms.”

Richard II Act One, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ———————- For a play that I thought would be as relatively straightforward as the Henry VI plays were (unhappy king, etc.)  even Act One is turning out to be more complex, … Continue reading

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