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Richard II Power Quotes

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

Quote #7

Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm off from an anointed king;
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord:
For every man that Bolingbroke hath press'd
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,
Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right. (3.2.3)

If you're looking for evidence that Richard II is completely naive, look no further. When he hears that Henry has gathered up his forces and is coming for him, Richard blows off the warning and says he is God's "deputy" on earth and is therefore untouchable. This is why Richard never fights back.

Quote #8

 I had forgot myself; am I not king?
Awake, thou coward majesty! thou sleepest.
Is not the king's name twenty thousand names?
Arm, arm, my name! a puny subject strikes
At thy great glory. (3.2.5)

When Richard finds out that Bolingbroke is headed his way with a giant army, he believes that his subjects should automatically defend him, their king.

Quote #9

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 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)

This is an interesting moment, because the queen views Richard's loss of the crown as a kind of second "fall." (This is a reference to Genesis in the Bible, where Adam and Eve fell from God's grace and changed the world forever.) Even though the play acknowledges that Richard was a bad king, Shakespeare is still a little nervous about the way Henry IV has come into power – he's stripped a king (who many believe was appointed by God) of his crown. How will this impact England? (By the way, in the next few history plays, we see how Henry's grab for power plagues England with a bunch of civil wars and turmoil.)

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