Sunday, October 26, 2008

School Book: King Richard II

King Richard II was an extremely strange and hard to follow play. In my opinion, it is not one of Shakespeare's best. Richard II is one of Shakespeare's historical plays, following the last few years of King Richard II's life. (I believe it leads into King Henry IV parts 1 and 2).
Unlike Edward II by Christopher Marlowe, Richard II didn't seem to flow as well. There were many instances where things happened that didn't really seem to make sense (maybe this is in part due to the historical facts around Richard II - I don't really know his history).
There was one spot in particular that I found especially confusing: Act IV. Act IV is where Bolingbroke gets Richard's crown. Well, the beginning of the act has so many people come out of nowhere and challenge one another, it's extremely difficult to follow. The fact that they're calling one another liars the whole time didn't help either. Again, this may come more from historical fact, but again, I do not know the history of Richard II.
Characters coming out of nowhere made this play really tough to follow. I had to flipback to the List of Roles all the time in an attempt to figure out who everyone was. Other than the few main characters, there seemed to be a lot of minor ones who would randomly show up for a scene, then disappear (again, look back at Act IV when everyone is challenging one another).
Maybe reading it through a second time will help straighten things out. But as of this moment, I can say I was not impressed with this play. Definitely not one of my favourites.

No comments: