Richard II Resources
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, has some awesome resources on 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.)
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.
Britannia's article on the historical Richard II.
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's got the 411 on all the historical figures that appear as characters in the play. Here's their page on John of Gaunt.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is part of a production that produced a seven-play version of the Wars of the Roses.
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).
Listen to a podcast about how and why Shakespeare's plays are always getting adapted into teen flicks, compliments of Shakespeare in American Life.
Listen to the play for free.
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?
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.
The man who became King Henry IV
A portrait of the historical John of Gaunt