© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Richard II Pride Quotes

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

Quote #1

Richard: Now, by my sceptre's awe, I make a vow
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul. (1.1.7).

Wow, Richard's got a serious god complex. Instead of invoking God or some other sacred symbol to swear by, he swears by himself. In other words, he's so full of himself that he can't think of anything more holy!

Quote #2

We were not born to sue but to command;
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be ready as your lives shall answer it
At Coventry upon Saint Lambert's Day. (1.1.13)

This is an important moment because Richard hits a limit to his power, long before he's stripped of his crown. Because he secretly ordered Gloucester's death, and Mowbray seems to have been involved, it's extremely awkward for Richard when he can't get Mowbray and Henry Bolingbroke to drop charges. Despite his assertions of his power earlier in this scene, and despite his statement that he was born not to "sue" (beg or ask) but to command, he ends up having to give in to the men he claims he's commanding. No matter how big he talks, Richard is weak here.

Quote #3

Landlord of England art thou now, not King.
Thy state of law is bondslave to the law...  (2.1.8)

O snap! Gaunt is trying to bring Richard down to earth by pointing out the emptiness of his claims to power. No matter how much Richard might proudly say he's all-powerful, what he's actually done is lease his land – a move several characters in the play identify as one of his worst mistakes. Gaunt points out that by acting as a landlord instead of a king, Richard is now subject to laws that he would have been above before.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...