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Richard II Act 3, Scene 2 Summary

  • Meanwhile, Richard and his crew have arrived at Harlech Castle, on the coast of Wales.
  • Richard is grateful to be back on British soil. So grateful, in fact, that he bends down, picks up some dirt, and starts to sweet-talk the soil: "Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand."
  • Then Richard asks the earth not to help the rebels – in fact, he hopes the earth will poison them with toads, spiders, and adders or make them march through "stinging nettles." (Is Richard just being poetic, or is he starting to lose it?)
  • Carlisle reassures Richard that everything will be okay. Aumerle is less optimistic. He says Bolingbroke is growing stronger by the minute.
  • Richard tells Aumerle that he's wrong and should pipe down. Richard says God gave him a right to rule England, so God will protect him.
  • Salisbury comes in with some bad news: the group of Welsh soldiers that were supposed to meet Richard at Harlech Castle decided to leave and go home. Apparently they heard a rumor that Richard was dead. If Richard had arrived one day sooner, he would have had an army to back him up.
  • Richard is shocked at the news, but not for long. He declares he is a king, gosh darn it, and a king's name is the same as forty thousand names! (Whatever that means.)
  • Scrope comes in to deliver more bad news. Richard says he's prepared to hear the worst. Scrope tells him the entire kingdom (including old men, young boys, and women) has turned against him.
  • Richard wants to know where his allies are so he can chop off their heads for letting this happen.
  • Scrope tells him it's too late: they've already been beheaded by Henry Bolingbroke.
  • Richard decides to give up. He gives a big speech about death and then sits down in the dirt and says it's time to "tell sad stories of the death of kings." (Get your highlighters out, because this is important too.)
  • The Bishop of Carlisle tells Richard wise men don't whine. He needs to get his butt off the ground and fight!
  • Richard seems like he's ready to take action, but then he hears that York has also joined Team Henry Bolingbroke.
  • Hopeless, Richard decides to run away to Flint Castle, where he'll spend all his time moping around. He tells his advisors his mind is made up and forbids them to speak.
  • Aumerle asks if he can just say one little thing.
  • Richard says no.

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