King Richard II – Book

Paying close attention to language, tone and action, discuss the
following passage, showing its significance to the play.

Northumberland: My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your Majesty.
King Richard: What says he?
Northumberland: Nay, nothing; all is said.
His tongue is now a stringless instrument; Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.
York: Be York the next that must be bankrupt so! Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.
King Richard: The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he;
His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be. So much for that. Now for our Irish wars.
We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns, Which live like venom where no venom else
But only they have privilege to live.
And for these great affairs do ask some charge, Towards our assistance we do seize to us
The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables, Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess’d.
York: How long shall I be patient? Ah, how long Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
Not Gloucester’s death, nor Hereford’s banishment, Nor Gaunt’s rebukes, nor England’s private wrongs, Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
About his marriage, nor my own disgrace, Have ever made me sour my patient cheek Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign’s face. I am the last of noble Edward’s sons,
Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first. In war was never lion rag’d more fierce,
In peace was never gentle lamb more mild, Than was that young and princely gentleman. His face thou hast, for even so look’d he, Accomplish’d with the number of thy hours; But when he frown’d, it was against the French And not against his friends. His noble hand Did win what he did spend, and spent not that Which his triumphant father’s hand had won.
His hands were guilty of no kindred blood, But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
O Richard! York is too far gone with grief, Or else he never would compare between –
King Richard: Why, uncle, what’s the matter?
York: O my liege,
Pardon me, if you please; if not, I, pleas’d Not to be pardoned, am content withal.
Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands

The royalties and rights of banish’d Hereford? Is not Gaunt dead? and doth not Hereford live? Was not Gaunt just? and is not Harry true?
Did not the one deserve to have an heir? Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
Take Hereford’s rights away, and take from Time His charters and his customary rights;
Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day; Be not thyself, for how art thou a king But by fair sequence and succession?
Act 2, Scene 1

Please read below the expectations of the task
CIE Learners guide
In the examination
Essay questions
• Focus quickly but thoughtfully on what the question asks you to do.
• Plan some thoughts before you start to write.

Sample Solution