Tear Jerker: Richard II

  • Richard the Second (aka, Proof Positive that You Don't Read the Good Shakespearean Plays in High School English Class); specifically, any lines spoken by John of Gaunt, anything said by Richard after he learns of Bolingbroke's invasion (when you realize that his entire world has been overturned and he just. doesn't. know. what. to do. anymore.), and especially Mowbray's exile speech:
    Mowbray: A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege
    And all unlooked for from your highness' mouth.
    A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
    As to be cast forth in the common air,
    Have I deserv'd at your highness' hands.
    The language I have learned these forty years,
    My native English, now I must forgo;
    And now my tongue's use is to me no more
    Than an unstring'd viol or a harp,
    Or like a cunning instrument cased up
    Or, being open, put into his hands
    That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
    Within my mouth you have enjailed my tongue,
    Doubly portcullised with my teeth and lips;
    And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
    Is made my jailer to attend on me.
    I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
    Too far in years to be a pupil now.
    What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
    That robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
  • And the scene where the stable-groom visits Richard in prison.
  • Richard and his queen parting ways for the last time. The young queen pleads that they might be banished together, even if this means being sent to prison alongside him, and is denied. Richard is much more resigned, probably because he already knows he won't be allowed to live.
    Part us, Northumberland; I toward the north,
    Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
    My wife to France: from whence, set forth in pomp,
    She came adorned hither like sweet May,
    Sent back like Hallowmas or short'st of day.