© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Richard II Resources


The Folger Shakespeare Library

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, has some awesome resources on Richard II.

Online Edition of Richard II

Left your copy of the play in your locker? No sweat – you can read it online, compliments of MIT. (Just know that there aren't any helpful footnotes or editors' comments.)

Historical Information

Genealogy of the History Plays: Don't Leave Home Without This!

Having a tough time keeping track of who's who in Shakespeare's history plays? This genealogical chart of Edward III's descendents is super handy.

Monarchs of Britain

Britannia's article on the historical Richard II.

BBC History: The Middle Ages

We love the BBC's British History website. Check out what they have to say about the Middle Ages, and be sure to check out the articles on "Richard II: Disease, Rebellion, and Conflict."

Luminarium – John of Gaunt

Luminarium's got the 411 on all the historical figures that appear as characters in the play. Here's their page on John of Gaunt.

Holinshed's Chronicles

One of the most important sources for Shakespeare's history plays, the Abraham Fleming edition of Holinshed's Chronicles is available online.

Movie or Tv Productions

The Tragedy of King Richard II

Long before Sir Ian McKellen played Gandalf in <em>Lord of the Rings</em>, he was kind of a hottie as "Richard II" in this 1971 BBC production.

Movie or TV Productions

Being King Is a Drag...

A 1997 production of Richard II starring a woman, Fiona Shaw, as King Richard II. This production has plenty of haters, but we think Shaw's performance is pretty genius.

The Wars of the Roses: Richard II

Got time for a Shakespeare marathon? The English Shakespeare Company performs all the history plays (including Richard II) in a series called The Wars of the Roses.

1978 BBC Production Starring Derek Jacobi

This is the one your teacher is likely to show in class. It's over 30 years old, but Jacobi is awesome as a diva king. This is part of the BBC's The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare collection, so you can probably find it in your local library.


Derek Jacobi's Richard II (1978)

Watch the first part of Act 1, Scene 1 on YouTube. Jacobi plays Richard II as an oddball diva, and Henry Bolingbroke's hairdo is kind of awesome in that late 1970s, it's cool to wear a powder blue tuxedo to the prom kind of way.

Gaunt's Speech on England

From the 1978 performance, here's John Gielgud's famous delivery of John of Gaunt's ode to England. It sort of makes us want to pack a bag and catch the next flight.

Michael Pennington's 1990 stage version of Richard II

This is part of a production that produced a seven-play version of the Wars of the Roses.

Fiona Shaw as Richard II

Check out "Shakespeare's Richard II: Casting a King" on YouTube. This clip features some cool discussion of Fiona Shaw's performance as Richard II (1997) and how it stacks up to performances by Ian McKellen (1970) and Derek Jacobi (1978).


Shakespeare and Teen Flicks

Listen to a podcast about how and why Shakespeare's plays are always getting adapted into teen flicks, compliments of Shakespeare in American Life.

LibriVox Audio of Richard II

Listen to the play for free.


Medieval Smackdown: Trial by Combat Arena

If you wondering what the tournament arena from Act 1, Scene 3 might look like, check out this image of a medieval combat arena. Can't you just see Henry Bolingbroke and Mowbray getting ready to rumble here?

First Page of Richard II

The Hudson Shakespeare Company has a cool image of the first page of Richard II as it appeared in the 1623 First Folio. Check it out.

Portrait of Bolingbroke

The man who became King Henry IV

John of Gaunt

A portrait of the historical John of Gaunt

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...