Richard II Exile Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Where'er I wander, boast of this I can,
Though banished, yet a true-born Englishman. (1.3.15)
Henry Bolingbroke's reaction to banishment contrasts interestingly with Mowbray's. Whereas Mowbray sees his banishment from England as an enforced silence and a kind of death, Henry refuses to accept a passive position. He sees himself as aggressively communicating to the rest of the world that he is, and always will be, an Englishman.
Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
Though rebels wound thee with their horses' hoofs.
As a long-parted mother with her child
Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
So weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
And do thee favours with my royal hands. (3.2.2)
Though not, strictly speaking, a return from exile, Richard's belated return to England is an opportunity for him to reflect on what English soil means to him. Like Henry Bolingbroke at 1.3.15, he thinks of his relationship to the earth in terms of mother and child. However, where Henry saw himself as the child and the earth as his mother, Richard casts himself in the role of the parent. This is an important difference between the two rivals.
Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this garden,
How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
To make a second fall of cursed man?
Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?
Darest thou, thou little better thing than earth,
Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how,
Camest thou by this ill tidings? speak, thou wretch. (3.4.8)
When the queen finds out that Richard has been kicked off the throne by Henry, she compares his deposition to the Biblical fall of man, when Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden. What's up with that?