The Consequences Of Rebellion In Shakespeare's Richard II

Register to read the introduction… The consequence of Bolingbroke’s rebellion against Richard and stealing of the throne seems to be, on the surface, a great venture that has awarded Bolingbroke. The reality though, is that since Bolingbroke has wrongfully taken the throne and has risen up against Richard, there are prophecies which lead us to believe that Bolingbroke’s rule will not be smooth-running. It is prophesied by Carlisle “And if you crown him [Bolingbroke], let me prophesy/ The blood of English shall manure the ground/ And future ages groan for this foul act…/And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars” (4.1.137-139,141). This prophesy at the time seems wild, passionate and completely invalid, but we later are given another statement by Bolingbroke in which he says “I’ll make voyage to the Holy Land/ To wash this blood off from my guilt hand.” (5.6.49-50) When Bolingbroke says this we as the readers come to realize that Bolingbroke has actually alluded to the fact that he will start a Holy War to try and make up for his actions against Richard. This then shows us that though Bolingbrook’s rebellious nature initially allowed for him to obtain the throne and become King of England, we see that he will eventually face his demise for all the bloodshed he causes. The punishment that he will receive for his stealing of the throne from Richard II, who is believed to have been chosen by God, will either be an earthly punishment or one from the …show more content…
Shakespeare saw and realized this in each of the plays he wrote. In The Merchant of Venice he showed that you can’t trample all over social hierarchies because many of them have been held steadfast for years and cannot easily be brought down by the action of one individual. This is why we ended up seeing Shylock wrecked man, who had everything taken from him for his attempt to one-up the social system. As well in Richard II we see that in the end the one who tried to steal the throne from the rightful king will in the near future be destroyed. This may have been one of the reasons why Queen Elizabeth I allowed for the publishing Richard II, because at the final end of the historic story we see the destruction of Bolingbroke. Shakespeare understood that authority was an integral part of sustaining a society and thus portrayed this eloquently in each of his plays. The Merchant of Venice and Richard II show us that when one makes the decision to go against authority it will result in a change that is for the worse and will ultimately lead to the eventual demise and destruction. Society is as an anarchic structure and without authority and a social code the existence of a cohesive world would not be

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