6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Richard II - Impressions after having used the book,
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This review is from: King Richard II (Arden Shakespeare.Third Series) (Paperback)
Speaking only from personal experience, this book about Richard II lives up to the excellent reputation that many a book from the Arden collection has come to gain.Specifically this edition is a very rich and varied source of information which helps to gain insight not only in the text and the story, but in a very clear way also paints a good picture of the historical background for this play. Richard II being one of the plays of the 2nd tetralogy (a series of 4 plays that are connected) might not be as famous as the other Richard play, being Richard III to not name the play, but once one starts reading it, one is seduced by the very poetic language which is very beautiful. There are some wonderful monologues - and quite long ones to that - to be found here.
The play is all about patriotism, family ties, envy, struggle for power, and starts to raise some questions on the "Divine rights of Kings". Is King Richard a "good" King ? He surely has every right to be the King through sheer law, by which the first son in line inherits the throne. But is he a King who takes into account to upkeep a good relationship with both his nobles at the court and his subjects ? Has he a right to seize the lands of a nobleman he has bansihed, thus braking a promise he made ...?
I think this is absolutely a must read. You've got mostly detailed information and explanation of many words in their context at the bottom of each page, and this really helps to understand the bigger picture and the meaning of what is said.
I hope I have be able to encourage whomsoever reads this review to dive into the wonderful and rich world of Shakespeare. It takes some effort to get accustomed to the language,but once you're in the swing, it only get's easier ...