[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ShakespeareRichardII.jpg]]

-->''You may my glories and my state depose,''
-->''But not my griefs; still am I king of those.''
-->--'''King Richard II''', IV.i

An English history play by Creator/WilliamShakespeare. It's the first play in Shakespeare's second tetralogy, which includes ''HenryIV, Parts 1 & 2'', and ''HenryV''. It is believed to have been composed in 1595, and is sometimes referred to as a tragedy. It chronicles the later years of King Richard II of England, who reigned from 1377 to 1399, as he is overthrown by Henry Bolingbroke, later King Henry IV.

The play opens with Bolingbroke and a rival challenging one another to a duel for their honour. Before they have a chance to fight, Richard II interrupts, banishing them both from England. John of Gaunt, Bolingbroke's father and the Duke of Lancaster, dies, and Richard decides to seize Bolingbroke's lands to fuel his war effort in Ireland. Bolingbroke returns, because he was banished as Duke of Hereford but is now Duke of Lancaster, and is rightfully pissed that his land and wealth has been taken by Richard. He organizes a campaign against Richard. At first, the campaign's goal is merely to get Bolingbroke's land back, but it quickly becomes an opportunity to seize the throne of England. In a scene that was originally censored out, Richard is forced to abdicate. He is sent to prison, where he angsts about the loss of his throne, before being killed by an ambitious nobleman. Henry IV regrets the death, and vows to redeem himself by starting a crusade against Jerusalem.

One of the main characteristics of the play is its ornate, beautiful language, especially the flowery speeches of Richard II. He is contrasted with Bolingbroke, who is very plainspoken. Another notable feature is the "de-coronation" scene, which was cut from the original editions of the play because of its political touchiness-- the resemblances between Richard and Elizabeth are great. Indeed, the Earl of Essex requested the play be performed the evening before his failed uprising against the queen.

A performance of the play can be seen [[http://pursuedbyabear.net/specials/514/ here.]] In 2012, the BBC produced ''Richard II'' as part of "Series/TheHollowCrown" series with Ben Whishaw as Richard, Rory Kinnear as Bollingbroke and Creator/PatrickStewart as Gaunt.
----
!! ''Richard II'' provides examples of:

* AbdicateTheThrone: And Richard milks it for all its worth.
* TheAce [=/=] BrokenAce: Bolingbroke. He's basically everything Richard is ''not''. He ends up as the latter by the play's end, and begins ''HenryIV'' angsting about what he did.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Richard. This is possibly due to the fact that the play was heavily inspired by [[Creator/ChristopherMarlowe Marlowe's]] ''Edward II'', wherein Edward is ''very'' gay and has a canonical male lover.
* {{Anticlimax}}: The play leads up to Bolingbroke and Mowbray's duel like it's actually going to happen. It doesn't.
* BadAss: Richard, at least in the ''Hollow Crown'' production. Despite being almost naked, completely unarmed and trapped in his prison, he manages to kill one of his assassins before the crossbows do the rest.
** Some versions of his death scene emphasize this more than others; at least one version of the text has him wresting a weapon from his assassins' hands (sometimes [[AnAxeToGrind an axe]]) and killing two of them, practically bleeding [[FacingTheBulletsOneLiner Facing The Bullets rebukes]]. At any rate, the death scene is Richard at his most [[TragicHero heroic.]]
* TheBeautifulElite: Richard and his favorites.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: They're [[TheHouseOfPlantagenet Plantagenets]]: what did you expect?
** Gaunt and Bolingbroke are an exception. They only have two scenes together, but the mutual love and respect between father and son is apparent.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: A case where it wasn't censored for lewdness or violence, but for political reasons.
* BreakTheHaughty: Pretty much the entire plot.
* BreatherEpisode: Bolingbroke's pardoning of Aumerle is very easy to play this way.
* CainAndAbel: Bolingbroke references this in his first scene, referring to the slain Gloucester as Abel, and implicitly casting Richard as Cain. This is given an IronicEcho in the very last scene where Bolingbroke, now king, refers to Exton, Richard's murderer as Cain, though [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation it's uncertain how sincere he's being]] since he's said to have wanted Richard to die.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: Richard muses a lot on the subject.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: in a variation of the trope, Richard finally lives up to his ancestors with his valor at the moment of death.
* DeathIsDramatic
* DespairSpeech: "For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground / and tell sad stories of the death of kings..."
* DisproportionateRetribution: Debatable. Richard is an awful king, but his punishment still seems overly harsh. Still better than he got in real life - starving to death in an {{Oubliette}}.
* DueToTheDead: Bolingbroke determines not only to give Richard a properly royal funeral, but to make a crusade of expiation (he never did fulfill the second part, either in Shakespeare or RealLife.)
* DuelToTheDeath: Mowbray and Bolingbroke are fully prepared to have one before Richard stops them.
* EarlyBirdCameo:
** [[HenryIV Prince Hal]] gets a mention in a throwaway line, but he never actually appears.
** Harry "Hotspur" Percy has a minor role in this play before being a major character in ''1 Henry IV''.
* EasilyForgiven: Bolingbroke is quick to pardon Aumerle, considering he was conspiring to overthrow him.
* EtTuBrute: Bolingbroke, though he winds up being the one who gets backstabbed later in history. However, he's much more sympathetic than Richard, who capriciously seizes the lands of his vassals to pay for his wars, and Bolingbroke's rebellion to reclaim Lancaster is more or less justified by both the narrative and the characters.
* FallGuy: Mowbray, seeing as ''Richard'' was involved in having Gloucester killed. Since he, nor anyone, can actually just say it, the implication is left hidden within his rebuke to Bolingbroke, and let's Richard know, coded in metaphor, that his secret is safe.
-->'''Mowbray:''' A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
-->Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
* FamousLastWords: The titular character.
-->'''Richard:''' Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high;
-->Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
* FisherKing: Deconstructed; garden imagery dominates the play, but it's more complicated than "the king is sad, so the land weeps."
* FullCircleRevolution: By the end of the play, Henry IV is doing some of the same things that Richard II was doing at the start of the play. Appropriately, most of the same rebels are ready to rebel again by the start of the next play.
* GoldAndWhiteAreDivine: Richard, in the ''Hollow Crown'' production.
* HeroAntagonist: Bolingbroke.
* HeroicBSOD: Both Richard and Henry IV, at the end of the play.
* HoldingTheFloor: Richard's ability to do this at his "formal" abdication is the only thing that lets him keep some amount of personal power and dignity.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Your nobles are declaring each other traitor and [[DeadlyDecadentCourt lots of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and murder]] threatens the stability of your crown. Clearly the thing to do is invade Ireland.
* IHaveNoSon: the Duke of York reacting to Aumerle's treason against Bolingbroke.
* KangarooCourt: Richard's trial by Bolingbroke immediately after his deposition.
* TheLadysFavour: Prince Hal shows contempt for the celebration of his father's accession to the throne by jousting with a token from a common prostitute.
* LikeASonToMe: Inverted. Bolingbroke says that, in York, he sees his father Gaunt, and uses it to say that if Gaunt were alive and Aumerle were disinherited unjustly, he would help his nephew reclaim his just rights, as Henry was now asking of his uncle.
* LoopholeAbuse: Bolingbroke returns to England because it was the Duke of Hereford who was exiled, and following his father's death he's the Duke of Lancaster.
* MoralEventHorizon: [[{{In-Universe}} In story]], the taking of Gaunt's land and money away from Bolingbroke, the rightful heir to them, is seen as this, and Richard is explicitly warned that once he does it there's no going back. He doesn't care.
** Richard's deposition is also seen as this, because it will trigger a struggle for the crown we now know as The Wars Of The Roses.
* TheParagonAlwaysRebels: Henry of Bolingbroke. The best jouster in England, the son and heir of the powerful John of Gaunt, and a much more capable and honest ruler than Richard. Naturally, he rebels and brings a sizable portion of the country over to his side. Except, in an inversion of the trope, Bolingbroke is not the villain. Ironically, [[HenryIVPart1 Sir Henry Percy]], who appears in this play as one of his closest allies, would later be this to him.
* PetTheDog
** Richard, after issuing Bolingbroke's sentence of exile, immediately shortens its duration.
** Bolingbroke pardoning Aumerle, if only because the Duchess of York begs him to.
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege: Averted with John of Gaunt and Richard.
-->'''Gaunt:''' A partial slander sought I to avoid,
-->And in the sentence my own life destroy'd.
-->Alas, I look'd when some of you should say,
-->I was too strict to make mine own away...
** Later, played straight with the Duchess of York and Bolingbroke over Aumerle.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: Were the play not titled ''Richard II'', he would probably be an IneffectualSympatheticVillain.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Played with. Richard and Bolingbroke are actually very plain about their thoughts and intentions when speaking to each other. Henry never actually demands the crown from Richard; at all times, he merely demands his inheritance back and insists Richard made a mistake by taking it from him. Richard, believing in his own infallibility as king, immediately thinks Bolingbroke is launching a coup and rants about it, because if a king is capable of fallibility, he is no longer king. Henry and Richard's vastly different mindsets turn what seems to be an honest conversation into an argument about what makes a king: divine right or their own actions.
* TheQuietOne: Henry Bolingbroke. If he strings more than two lines of verse together, it's an occasion. At one point Richard calls him a "silent king".
* RageAgainstTheReflection: IV.i.
-->'''Richard:''' O flattering glass,
-->Like to my followers in prosperity,
-->Thou dost beguile me!
* RedOniBlueOni: Mowbray and Bolingbroke in their appeal to the King, and before their aborted duel.
* RegentForLife: A more sympathetic example than most.
* RhetoricalRequestBlunder: May not actually be accidental.
* RoyalWe: "Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings."
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Though not a traditional example of the trope, Richard never uses one word when ten will do.
* ShelteredAristocrat: Only he's the ''king'', so [[SarcasmMode that's going to end well]].
* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: Richard allows his dethroning without much fuss (besides the war, that is), but when asked to confess to his crimes, it is only his incessant speechifying that saves him from complete humiliation.
* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet:
** Bolingbroke and Mowbray, with actual gauntlets.
** Then again later in Act IV: Fitzwater and Aumerle have it out over Aumerle's supposed conspiring and challenge each other, then Hotspur, who just likes to fight, throws his gage down, and suddenly ''everyone's'' gloves are on the floor. Aumerle even has to ask someone to lend him a third!
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: The Duke of Gloucester, to hear some characters speak of it. Many 19th century productions played Richard this way, too.
* TranslationConvention: Averted--Mowbray has a moving speech about how his banishment from England means he will never be able to talk to anyone anywhere. Possibly artistic license, since the English court often spoke French during that period, but Richard's grandfather Edward III had made English the official language of the court in 1362, and Parliament had been opened in French for the last time in 1377.
** In RealLife Bolingbroke became the first English monarch since the Conquest who actually spoke English as his native tongue. Any high noble would have been able to speak enough French to get along in France.
* TrialByCombat: Bolingbroke and Mowbray.
* VillainProtagonist: Richard.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Played straight with Mowbray, who is banished and dies offstage. Bolingbroke is also exiled, but he comes back.
----