Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shakespeare: Richard II

Richard II is a good play, and it'd make a great addition to my series of space-operas based on Shakespearean plays. They'll be the Star Wars of the 2000's!

I've found that I enjoy the Histories/Dramas much more than the comedies of Shakespeare. There are often comedic moments that work even today, but they don't approach modern comedy in Humour:Time ratio. The Dramas of Shakespeare are better at reaching those things that are immortal in man, where the Comedies tend toward punning, which often ages poorly, and absurdism, which has been trumped so thoroughly by modern comedy that it is dwarfed in comparison.

I understand that Shakespeare was a bit of a political hack, who wrote to support Elizabeth I, and therefore, I would assume, the line of Henrys in the British Monarchy. Richard II is the story of a Henry usurping the throne, and the assassination of the King. There are some nobles that complain at Richard's taxes, but he isn't painted as a hideous villain, which would help to justify the revolution. It just seems odd that a monarchist would tell a story that so undermines the legitimacy of a monarch, especially since the current monarch was a continuation of that line.

In all, a good story, with real pathos.

14 Down, 23 To Go
Next Up: The Merchant Of Venice

1 comment:

Bob said...

Sounds like a good play.