Richard II, part 5

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 6 
Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers! 

The story so far: After his inheritance is stolen by Richard II to finance the king's war in Ireland, Henry of Bolingbroke (now Duke of Hereford and Duke of Lancaster) returns to England from exile, rustles up support among the discontented nobles, and starts rounding up all of Richard's supporters. But Richard is on his way back from Ireland...

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Bushy, Bagot and Green are referred to by Henry as "the caterpillars of the commonwealth", because they nibble and eat up everything in the garden of England. They were basically politicians (and, crucially, not noblemen) who became Richard's cronies, helping him him consolidate power and leech wealth from the country. You'll notice Bagot isn't depicted here. That's because when the three of them decided to run away in the last act, Bagot decided to run away in a different direction.

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"Not all the water in the rough rude sea can wash the balm from an anointed king" is one of those quotes that I think people should try to work into everyday conversation more often. For example:

Them: Are you going to do the dishes?
You: Not all the water in the rough rude sea can wash the balm from an anointed king!

Them: What do you think about England's chances in the World Cup?
You: Not all the water in the rough rude sea can wash the balm from an anointed king!

Them: Would you like fries with that?
You: Not all the water in the rough rude sea can wash the balm from an anointed king!

It might not always make sense, but it will always sound impressive. Give it a try.

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Time for another Shakespeare Speech Supercut! The "sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings" speech is second only to John of Gaunt's "this sceptered isle" speech in terms of "speeches people might possibly know from Richard II". I love this speech. Whatever you do, don't say the first lines of it within my earshot, because I will say compulsively say the rest of it, and there will be no way to stop me.

The performances are as follows:

0:00 - An Age of Kings, 1960, David William
1:53 - BBC Shakespeare, 1978, Derek Jacobi
4:28 - Playing Shakespeare, 1982, Richard Pasco
5:59 - Shakespeare's Globe, 2003, Mark Rylance

(Sorry Hollow Crown fans - my clip starring Ben Wishaw and his fabulous turban apparently fell foul of YouTube's copyright detection. It's a fair cop.) I can't decide if I like Jacobi's heart-breaking and pathetic version or Pasco's dry and morbidly ironic version the best. Let me know your preference in the comments! 

Due to various local festivities involving the dismemberment of large birds, there will probably not be another installment of Richard II up tomorrow, but I will try to get the Flint Castle scene done for Saturday.

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 6 Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10