King Richard II is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to be written in approximately 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England.
It is the first of the history series, referred to by scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV (part 1), Henry IV (part 2), and Henry V.
At the start of Richard II, Bolingbroke (King Richard's cousin) accuses and attacks the government of King Richard.
King Richard II then banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke from England.
Bolingbroke later returns with an army and the support of some of the nobility, and he deposes Richard. Richard is separated from his beloved Queen, imprisoned, and later murdered. By the end of the play, Bolingbroke has been crowned King Henry IV.
Bolingbroke seems to be a leader coming into power at a time England is in turmoil.
This particular play can be viewed as a turning point in the history of England as the throne is taken over by a more commanding king in comparison to King Richard II.
Shakespeare's genius for verse and the exposition of character is blazingly manifest in this play and that is one of the reasons for its popularity.
Richard II has one of the most detailed and unusual performance histories of all the plays of the Shakespearean canon.
The play was performed two days in a row at the Globe Theatre on June 11 and 12, 1631.
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