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Richard II Act 3, Scene 1 Summary

  • When the scene opens, Bolingbroke has captured Bristol Castle, where Bushy and Green have been hiding out.
  • Bolingbroke doesn't want there to be any confusion, so he tells everybody why he's sentencing Bushy and Green to death.
  • First Bolingbroke accuses Bushy and Green of corrupting the king and coming between him and his friends and family members (including Bolingbroke).
  • Then, since no political drama is complete without a sexual scandal, Bolingbroke implies that Bushy and Green both had sex with Richard, making a "divorce betwixt his queen and him" by breaking "the possession of a royal bed."
  • Finally, Bolingbroke says that Bushy and Green helped King Richard steal his land from him, which basically stripped Bolingbroke of his identity as a "gentleman." (Remember, a nobleman's name and all his power come from his land.)
  • Bushy and Green say they'd rather die and go to heaven than live in England with Henry Bolingbroke running around.
  • Bolingbroke orders Northumberland do his dirty work for him by making sure Bushy and Green are put to death. Northumberland is all over it.
  • Bolingbroke turns to York and says he wants to make sure the queen is treated fairly. (How considerate of him.)
  • Then he says something like, "Okay guys, time to get back to our uprising. If we work hard now, we can party later."

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