Article Title

Richard II and Some Forms of Theatrical Time


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

A commonsensical and representative account of Bolingbroke's actions leading to the deposition of Richard II concludes that Shakespeare, departing from Holinshed, sought to make Bolingbroke appear to be duplicitous as early as the beginning of Act II of the play. While Bolingbroke steadily claims that he has returned from exile only to regain his patrimony, we are to understand that he is lying, according to this account, because we hear that he is on his way back to England with a mighty army in the very scene in which Richard seizes his estates and gives him some cause to return. There may be temporal gaps between scenes, but according to the conventions of drama, time is understood to be continuous within a scene, and so, this argument concludes, it is "apparent from the chronology that [Bolingbroke's] voyage must have other purposes than the regaining of what Bolingbroke does not know he has lost." 1

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