An analysis of the monologue of john of gaunt

With the door locked, Aumerle is prepared to confess, but before he does so, the Duke of York comes to the door and demands that the king should beware of the traitor in his midst.

The question of whether it is blasphemy to mount in arms against the king will continue to be a key issue throughout the play. If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke, Imp out our drooping country's broken wing, Redeem from broking pawn the blemish'd crown, Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre's gilt And make high majesty look like itself, Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh; But if you faint, as fearing to do so, Stay and be secret, and myself will go.

One must imagine Richard's demeanor through all this long speech of York's. This was an important switch because it was not done capriciously. Before Gaunt exits, he virtually accuses the king of the murder of Gloucester, and he warns him that these words will later haunt him: But Northumberland refuses to argue with Richard, and he also refuses to allow the queen to follow her husband to Pomfret or him to follow her to France.

It is important to realize that there is something conspiratorial about this scene in that the three nobles are aware of the gravity of the situation.

Though no admirer of democracy himself, Shakespeare's idea here is that there is a will of the people albeit the nobility that might, in some cases, supercede the divine right of kingship. By referring to himself as "a prophet new-inspired," 2.

By the middle of November, the survivors of the sickly army returned to Calais, where the Earl of Warwick died of plague. Explaining his renewed energy despite the physical hardships, Northumberland claims that the "noble company" of Bolingbroke has been its chief source.

And, to make matters worse, as is brought out in the first part of the scene, the king has an unregenerate son, Prince Hal, who whiles away his time with Jack Falstaff particularly in the Henry IV plays of the tetralogy.

He "dares not say" what they can do to set things right in England. The Duchess, disappointed, bids Gaunt farewell as he departs to watch Bolingbroke and Mowbray fight it out in the lists. Thomas of Gloucester--the uncle in whose murder Richard is implicated--was not a king, but he was descended from royal blood.

The play is about a deposition and an unlawful succession to the throne, and for all of its consideration of the inadequacy of the king in question, the process shall bring forth misery as its heir.

Richard II

John of Gaunt, however, refuses to take action against Richard. He banishes Exton and vows to "make a voyage to the Holy Land" to expiate the guilt that he has accrued to himself. Things past redress are now with me past care. His death casts a long shadow over the play.

Whenever he comes onto the scene, it is always with a verbal flourish and an entourage. One cannot help to think that this is exactly what Gaunt was hoping for all along. It is significant that this "normative" figure, York, has his patience tried when Gaunt's death is announced, and the king, without the least trace of remorse, makes plans to immediately collect the booty he came for in the first place.

Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee. The vehemence with which York denounces his son seems odd, as if Shakespeare wanted to discredit an over-zealous patriotism.

What does that mean. Active Themes Ultimately, though, Richard ignores York and takes the land and money anyways. York concludes his argument about succession: This is how he is known and how he knows himself. Richard, true to his reputation, always travels "in style," as it were.

He refuses to attack the murderers of his brother, although he, too, would like to be able to have revenge, because the person who is most to blame for Gloucester's murder is Gaunt's nephew, King Richard. He "dares not say" what they can do to set things right in England.

The dramatic strategy of Scene 2 is similar to that which Shakespeare uses elsewhere and which he will bring to its most perfect execution in Macbeth. It is also a conventional metaphor for the "tragic" fall from greatness by a heroic or noble figure.

As the king enters, York hastily warns Gaunt to temper his rage, saying that "young hot colts being raged do rage the more. Gaunt is not impressed. He continues the kinship argument, trying to persuade York that if the situation had been reversed and it was York instead of Gloucester who had been killed by Richard, it is certain that old Gaunt would have backed Aumerle York's son.

These words hereafter thy tormentors be!. Everything you ever wanted to know about John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster in Richard II, written by masters of this stuff just for you.

Act Scene I

Richard II / Characters / John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster ; Character Analysis. How to Write Literary Analysis; Act II, scene i Summary. John of Gaunt, ill and dying in his house, talks with the Duke of York while he awaits the arrival of King Richard.

Gaunt hopes that, with his dying breath, he will be able to give the foolhardy young King Richard some advice that he will listen to. York says that that is unlikely.

JOHN OF GAUNT No, no, men living flatter those that die. KING RICHARD II Thou, now a-dying, say'st thou flatterest me. JOHN OF GAUNT O, no! thou diest, though I the sicker be.

KING RICHARD II I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill. JOHN OF GAUNT Now He that made me knows I see thee ill; Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill. Character Analysis Here's what you need to know about John of Gaunt: he's Henry Bolingbroke's dad, he's really old-school, he's close pals with King Richard (at the play's beginning anyway), and his death is a major turning point in the play.

Gaunt tells the Duchess of Gloucester he can't avenge her husband's (his brother's) death because the king is the one who ordered it. Gaunt blesses his son Henry as. 1] John of Gaunt's death-bed speech in Act 2, scene 1 prophesizes the downfall of an idealized England under the rule of Richard II.

Back to Line 2] seat of Mars: home to the Roman god of war. Back to Line 3] demi-paradise: a place Edenic in quality, diminished only in size.

Back to Line 6] happy.

Richard II An analysis of the monologue of john of gaunt
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SparkNotes: Richard II: Act II, scene i