King Richard II: Essay Topics
1) Examine the character of Richard II. In what ways does he contribute to his own downfall?
2) The historical Queen Isabella was but a child when Richard II was on the throne. Why does Shakespeare include her in the play as a grown woman? What does her presence add to the overall play?
3) Discuss the complex character of Henry Bolingbroke. Are his actions throughout the play justified?
4) Compare and contrast the characters of Richard and Bolingbroke. Do the two share similar qualities?
5) Examine Richard's final speeches as he awaits death. What do these speeches reveal about Richard the man and Richard the king?
6) In Act V, Scene III, Bolingbroke speaks of his son, Hal. Why is Hal mentioned in this scene?
7) Of what importance is John of Gaunt in the play?
8) Describe Richard's relationship with his wife, making reference to their final meeting.
9) Examine Bolingbroke's last speech. How does this speech reveal his thoughts on the death of Richard and his future as England's new monarch?
Daily Life in Shakespeare's London
Life in Stratford (structures and guilds)
Life in Stratford (trades, laws, furniture, hygiene)
Stratford School Days: What Did Shakespeare Read?
Games in Shakespeare's England [A-L]
Games in Shakespeare's England [M-Z]
An Elizabethan Christmas
Clothing in Elizabethan England
Queen Elizabeth: Shakespeare's Patron
King James I of England: Shakespeare's Patron
The Earl of Southampton: Shakespeare's Patron
Going to a Play in Elizabethan London
Ben Jonson and the Decline of the Drama
Publishing in Elizabethan England
Religion in Shakespeare's England
Alchemy and Astrology in Shakespeare's Day
Entertainment in Elizabethan England
London's First Public Playhouse
Shakespeare Hits the Big Time
Research Your Topic
Richard II: The Complete Play
How to Pronounce the Names in Richard II
Shakespeare's Second Period: Exploring the Histories
Richard II: Q & A
Famous Quotations from Richard II
Richard II: Plot Summary
Representations of Kingship and Power in Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy
What is Tragic Irony?
Seneca's Tragedies and the Elizabethan Drama
Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama
Why Shakespeare is so Important
Shakespeare's Boss: The Master of Revels