Phil's Reviews > King Richard II

King Richard II by William Shakespeare
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Jul 28, 11

bookshelves: drama

This is actually the second time I've read this play, and it is quite good. It has one of my favorite speeches from any Shakespeare play--in III.2, the "death of kings" speech is really tremendous. That being said, there are a couple of things that bother me about this play. First, the plot is really similar to Marlowe's Edward II, which I feel is (in many ways) a better play. Edward is more interesting a character than Richard, and some of the writing in Marlowe's play is really top notch as well. However, Edward II deals more with the division between private and public responsibilities, whereas Richard II is more concerned with issues of dethronement. But the plot lines of each play are really similar. Also, some of the rhyming couplets in Richard II don't work for me. Much of the writing is good, but there are a few places where the rhymes draw attention to themselves without necessarily being crucial words that should have particular attention drawn to them.
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