Richard II—The Theory of Kingship
Lecture no. 13 from the course: William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies
Taught by Professor Peter Saccio | 29 min | Categories: The Great Courses Plus Online Literature & Language Courses
Elizabethan political theory held that the monarch is God's anointed; disobedience and rebellion are grievous sins and invite divine wrath. Richard is the legitimate king, yet Bolingbroke appears to be the abler ruler. What is more to blame for Bolingbroke's challenge to Richard: The former's temerity or the latter's inadequacies? And can a rebel terminate the damage done by an erring (yet lawful) king only at the cost of damaging the realm even further?