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Everything at Six and Seven

Uploaded by nathan747 on Jul 27, 2002

Regal complacency must yield to political expediency and the deposition of the king will reverberate though the ages. Susan L. Powell

The parallel and inextricable link between the fall of King Richard to the rise of the new and innovative King Henry, present a significant investigation of power and betrayal – of those who wield it and those who desire it. (Queensland Theatre Company) Written in the late 15th century, William Shakespeare provides a detailed study of kingship and supremacy, which is clearly displayed in the first few opening scenes.

The play begins with a dispute between nobles Bolingbrook and Mowbray, who are subsequently sentenced to banishment; Bolingbrook for 6 years and Mowbray for life. Incredibly upset, Bolingbrook’s father, John of Gaunt, becomes emotionally ill before dying of a broken heart, leaving King Richard with Bolingbrook’s inheritance within his sight. At this point in the play, the Duke of York warns Richard of the consequences of seizing Bolingbrook’s inheritance:
…If you do wrongfully seize Herford’s rights…
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
You loose a thousand well-disposed hearts… (2.2.201…205-6)
On Richard’s absence to Ireland, York is left behind to manage his kingdom. However, his first regal task is prompted by news of Bolingbrook’s return to England which motivates York to prepare for war.

God for His mercy! What a tide of woes
Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
I know not what to do. I would to God,
So my untruth had not provoked him to do it,
The king had cut my head off with my brother’s.
What, are there no posts dispatched for Ireland?
How shall we do for money for these wars?
Come, sister – cousin I would say, pray pardon me.
Go, fellow, get thee home. Provide some carts
And bring away the armour that is there.
[Exit Servingman]
Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
If I know how or which way to order these affairs
Thus disorderly thrust into my hands
Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen.
T’one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
And Duty bids defend; t’other again
Is my kinsman, whom the king hath wronged,
Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
Well, somewhat we must do. Come, cousin.
I’ll dispose of you. Gentlemen, go muster up your men
And meet me presently at Berkeley Castle.
I should to Plashy too,
But time will not permit. All is uneven
And everything is left at six and seven. (2.2.98-121)

York begins the task of mustering loyal supporters to defy the invasion of Bolingbrook. Speaking...

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Uploaded by:   nathan747

Date:   07/27/2002

Category:   Shakespeare

Length:   4 pages (928 words)

Views:   1340

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