4 out of 5 stars to Richard II, a tragedy or historical account written in 1595 by William Shakespeare. Richard II is the first of a series written about the War of the Roses, a famous tug-of-war over England’s throne just prior to Shakespeare’s time. This is the most fascinating period of English history for me and I loved reading this play. Though Richard III is my favorite of all the kinds during this era, the circumstance surrounding Richard II’s kingdom and power are quite unique. He was either a brilliant man or the biggest loon out there. He had ideas, but he couldn’t follow through with them due to a split in his views on responsibility. His words had beauty, but he wasn’t respected. Shakespeare paints a similar picture of him. There’s little plot in comparison to other plays. It’s more of a historical account, a point-in-time view of what was happening. Who was trying to take the throne? What was each man’s or woman’s position? How would it turn out? People wanted to read this to see what he’d choose. If you’re not a history buff, there’s no point in reading it, other than perhaps for some of the beauty in the images being created in each passage and in the dialogue. You might even want to brush up on the time period by reading some historical fiction such as a few of the books by Philippa Gregory covering these characters. It’ll help with perspective and background, then you can compare the way the characters (cum real life people) are portrayed.
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