The Final Soliloquy Of Richard Ii Essay

9 September 2017

, Research Paper

A Royal Contemplation: The concluding monologue of Richard II

Richard & # 8217 ; s concluding monologue ( Richard II, V.v.1-66 ) marks both the apogee of his transmutation from a indurate sovereign to a poetic philosopher and his moral acclivity ensuing from his deposition as the King of England. In this scene, Richard is entirely, in a prison cell at Pomfret Castle, for the first clip in the drama. This privateness enables him to uncover an enlightened, evocative fluency nurtured and developed since being freed from the loads and restraints that weighed him down as male monarch. However, this monologue does more than uncover the interior workings of a poet-King.

Of the several maps and intents that this monologue has, none may be more straightforward as its function in the constitution of the scene for the of import decease scene. From his first few lines, Richard indicates that he is entirely, locked off in a prison cell, and isolated from all external influences.

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Richard slackly summarizes the actions of the drama, specifically Bullingbroke & # 8217 ; s trespass of the throne and his ain diminution. Much of what he says foreshadows his at hand decease. However, it is merely in the face of decease that Shakespeare reveals the nature of the former male monarch. The most of import function that this transition plays is to show the transmutation that Richard has undergone since releasing the Crown. He is no longer a indurate, self-involved elitist, but is self-reflective and poetic. An early illustration of this clever usage of linguistic communication is the cock metaphor, which symbolizes his newfound ability to craft words and sentences in a rich and meaningful mode, and sets his encephalon and psyche to engender ideas.

Despite holding surrendered the Crown to his cousin early in Act IV, the expose of Richard is non complete until he has been imprisoned for a considerable length of clip with nil to make but believe about the yesteryear. Despite whatever emotional or religious epiphanies Richard may hold experienced, it is clear that he regrets his imprisonment. He explicitly states that he wishes he could delve his manner out, or & # 8220 ; rupture a transition through my ragged prison walls & # 8221 ; ( RII, V.v.20-21 ) . However, with is newfound lucidity, he acknowledges the futility of any such attempt.

Unfortunately, the exact length of Richard & # 8217 ; s purdah is unknown. However, it is long plenty for Richard & # 8217 ; s false sense of security to be replaced by the opposite and wiser attitude in a universe of & # 8220 ; unstable values, security, and contentment are beyond human power & # 8221 ; ( Reed 70 ) . He blatantly admits & # 8220 ; no idea is contented & # 8221 ; ( RII, V.v.11 ) . Richard & # 8217 ; s merely contentment is of a negative order as he becomes brooding and comforted by the realisation that he is non the first to endure bad luck ( RII, V.v.28 ) . In bearing bad luck, work forces find & # 8216 ; a sort of easiness & # 8217 ; by remembering that others have borne, or will bear, the same bad luck. He farther thinks back to when he was still King, but can non bury the recent fortunes taking to his abdication/deposition and is saddened by these memories.

More painful memories from Richard & # 8217 ; s recent yesteryear are triggered in this scene. He recalls all of the & # 8220 ; functions & # 8221 ; he has played in changing grades, and how he has failed miserably at all of them.

Therefore drama I in one individual many people,

and none contented. Sometimes am I male monarch ;

so lese majesties make me wish myself a mendicant,

And so I am. Then oppressing indigence

Persuades me I was better when a male monarch ; ( RII, V.v.31-35 ) .

On one manus, a King is wary and fearful of & # 8216 ; lese majesties, & # 8217 ; while on the other manus, the mendicant is a victim of & # 8216 ; oppressing penury. & # 8221 ; Earlier in the drama, he identified himself among the ranks of deposed and murdered male monarchs ( III.ii ) , yet here, he identifies with the common people, specifically the mendicants in the

stocks, remembering Bullingbroke’s mention to the “Beggar and the King” in the old scene ( V.iii.80 ) .

Further philosophizing, Richard abandons his religion in redemption. And acknowledges the lone flight that he can perchance gestate is the province of void, or decease. Merely in decease will he be released from his discontentedness and hurting. In his head, decease is the & # 8220 ; ultimate and dry intent of being & # 8221 ;

But what e & # 8217 ; er I be,

Nor I, nor any adult male that but adult male is,

With nil shall be pleas & # 8217 ; vitamin D, till he be eas & # 8217 ; vitamin D

With being nil. ( RII, V.v.38-41 )

As he is eased by the idea of decease, unaware of his ain at hand destiny, Richard is cheerily startled by the sound of music emanating from nearby his cell. The music restores order to his universe, a universe in which he lost all construct of clip and world due to the deficiency of outside influences to border such a world. Now he can maintain path of clip, utilizing the metered signatures of the music. The music besides allows him to see how he made so many errors. However, upon being interrupted, Richard does non return to his analysis of human discontentedness.

The music provokes Richard into a revery on the metaphysics of clip, an image scattered throughout the drama. & # 8220 ; I wasted clip, and now clip doth waste me & # 8221 ; ( RII, V.v.49 ) . He shows a valid cognition of what has made him an inadequate male monarch, specifically his ain abuse of clip, which is accomplished in three ways, and a failure to acknowledge these maltreatments because of his self-importance. First, he departs for Ireland at a clip when his major job is in his fatherland and fails to return place in clip to salvage himself by crushing Bullingbroke & # 8217 ; s rebellion. Second, he has illicitly seized Bullingbroke & # 8217 ; s heritage and violated the & # 8216 ; customary rights & # 8217 ; of Time. Richard & # 8217 ; s 3rd maltreatment of clip has obviously been his & # 8220 ; munificent amusement of his adulators, & # 8221 ; or his excessive disbursement of money when he should hold been keeping a prudent disposal. The maltreatment of clip has resulted in an untended & # 8220 ; English garden. & # 8221 ; This recalls an earlier scene when the Gardener referred to the Richard, whom & # 8220 ; waste of idol hours hath rather thrown down ( III.iv.66 ) .

Richard finally accepts the duty of his actions, but, ironically, the penalty for these maltreatments of clip is the captivity to clip, which Richard & # 8217 ; s imprisonment represents. The effect of this foolish mistreatment of such an of import office has resulted in Richard & # 8217 ; s going nil more than a & # 8220 ; numbr & # 8217 ; ing clock & # 8221 ; ( RII, V.v.50 ) . The events and duties of England are now in the custodies of other work forces, the & # 8220 ; English garden & # 8221 ; has been partly restored to order, and Richard is of no usage to anyone and is finally murdered as a consequence.

After crafting his best poesy in the drama, Shakespeare gives Richard a self-respect that was non present earlier. Richard is bound within himself even as his organic structure is imprisoned at Pomfret. Yet there is an aesthetic thrust or urge, a newfound aesthetic self-respect, in Richard. This is accompanied by Richard & # 8217 ; s disclosure of his private features, including philosophic penetration and self-knowledge. This self-awareness is manifested in his polar irritation with the music he was turned on by merely a few lines before:

This music mads me. Let it sound no more,

For though it hath holp lunatics to their marbless,

In me it seems it will do wise work forces mad. ( RII, V.v.61-63 )

With a new ability to see the mistakes in his ways, every bit good as his philosophical inquiring of the universe around him, Richard is ready to confront decease in a baronial manner. He may non hold achieved fully fledged hero position in his transmutation, but has surely earned a grade of understanding and regard from the reader that was non possible earlier in the drama.

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