Artwork – Andre Simoneau
(Podcast recorded and produced by Daniel J. Rowe, blog written and edited by Eric Jean)
Welcome back Brawlers to the speeches podcast of our tenth play, Richard II.
Listen to or download the podcast, or better yet subscribe on iTunes.
We also discuss the merits of bottled beer, stubbed-nosed or otherwise, versus tall cans. Special treat: there may also be a nod to the brilliance of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (aka Patrick Stewart) in Star Trek: First Contact.
“Should dying men flatter with those that live?” Act II, scene 1
Speakers: Richard II, John of Gaunt
John of Gaunt’s loaded and near-death. King Richard pays him a visit to his dying uncle in the hopes that the old man will die soon so he can gobble up his lands and cash. However, as his death-bed speech Gaunt tells Richard that he’s the one who in danger of dying because he’s killed his own uncle Gloucester and now surrounds himself with flatterers who are likely to run to henry as soon as he gets back to England.
“Where is the duke my father with his power?” Act III, scene 2
Speakers: Duke of Aumerle, Richard II
Things are looking pretty grim for Richard. None of his so-called friends have shown up to fight on his side. He’s screwed and he knows it. And he wants everybody else around to know that he’s royally screwed and to finally stop feeding him bullshit and telling him what he wants to hear. He knows now that kings rarely make it to retirement and that for all of his kingly privilege, he’s just like everybody else, a nobody.
“Ascend his throne, descending now from him…” Act IV, scene 1
Speakers: Duke of York, Henry Bolingbroke, Bishop of Carlisle
Surrounded by his buddies, Henry Bolingrbroke agrees to take the throne and reign as Henry IV! Except the Bishop of Carlisle have a few issues with that. See, as kings are anointed by God people can’t just decide to replace the king with someone lese. Even if they take his power, Richard II is still the rightful king. Carlisle warns that they’ll be hell to pay if they go through with this.
Henry IV’s not too happy to hear this so he just has him arrested. Problem solved.
“Great king, within this coffin I present” Act 5 V, scene 6
Speakers: Exton, Henry Bolingbroke
It only makes sense that so long as Richard II is still around, there will be a bunch of people who refuse to accept that Henry IV is the new king. Life of course would be so much simpler if Richard would just meet with an unfortunate accident and disappear from The Tower. Seems like henry might have let that slip so Exton took his cue and did the dirty work. He then comes back to court to claim his reward except that henry doesn’t want this shit to reflect poorly on him.
So can you spell scapegoat? Yup, that’s right: E-X-T-O-N.
That’s it for play number ten Brawlers! Stay tuned for our next play in the next week or two and for announcements about the upcoming 3rd volume of ‘Zounds!
Zoey Baldwin returns to the brawl and brings us a lovely reading of Sonnet 56.
And hey! Buy ‘Zounds! You’ll never regret or forget it. Volume II is OUT NOW.
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