Requirements: 1500 words, double-spaced, Times New Roman font; answer the question below
Shakespeare had to be very careful in writing Richard II. On the one hand, Elizabeth I (a Tudor/Lancastrian) traced her lineage back to Henry Bolingbroke (also a Tudor/Lancastrian). On the other hand, the Tudors believed in an absolutist state in which monarchs received divine sanction for their rule; thus, Elizabeth I might have been troubled by the deposition of Richard II (even though that deposition led to her rule). How does Richard II negotiate all these conflicting and contradictory political pressures? In what ways are these pressures reflected in the play’s attitude towards and representation of divine kingship, deposition, and rebellion? If Richard II is such a bad king, why does the play force our sympathetic engagement with him as a tragically captivating figure, as possessing what one scholar calls a “sad grandeur”; moreover, why does the play encourage our intellectual investment in Richard through the allocation of the best and most painfully introspective poetry to him?
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