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Richard II Passivity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)

Quote #7

Revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend.
They break their faith to God as well as us.
Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay.
The worst is death, and Death will have his day. (3.2.6)

This is where Richard hears that he doesn't have any troops to protect him against Henry and his army. What's interesting is that Richard totally gives up, which says a lot about his weakness as a king. Instead of fighting or taking action, he feels sorry for himself and resigns himself to the fact that everybody dies sometime.

Quote #8

For God's sake let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings – (3.2.9)

You've got to be kidding. Instead of defending himself (or even running away from Bolingbroke), Richard decides to sit down on the ground and tell stories about other kings who have been murdered. Rather than think of his people, or his kingdom, he wallows in self-pity and tries to think of himself as a story, or a literary figure (and therefore larger than life).

Quote #9

My lord, wise men ne'er sit and wail their woes,
But presently prevent the ways to wail. (3.2.1)

Here Carlisle tries to talk some sense into Richard by telling him to get a grip and fight for his kingdom. Richard is a pretty unstable guy: the minute his power is threatened, he folds and starts feeling sorry for himself. In principle, this isn't that different from all the other ways Richard has let things go badly by refusing to take action.

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