Richard II: Novel Summary: Act 5 Scene 1

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Act 5 Scene 1
In a London street leading to the Tower, the queen sees Richard, accompanied by a guard. Richard tells her not to join him in grief. He advises her to go to France and enter a convent. The queen reproaches him for his defeatism and wishes he would behave with more aggression. Richard again tells her to go to France and to think of him as being dead. On winter nights, he says, she should gather with some good old people, listen to their tales of woe, and then tell his sad story about the deposing of a rightful king.
Northumberland enters and tells Richard that Bolingbroke has decided that Richard should be taken to Pomfret Castle, in Yorkshire, rather than the Tower. He also has an order for the queen to be sent to France. Richard predicts that Northumberland will soon get dissatisfied with the amount of land Henry IV allocates to him, and that Henry IV in turn will be suspicious of Northumberland. There will be a deadly dispute between them. Northumberland dismisses the prediction.
The queen protests at her parting from Richard, and pleads that they should both be allowed to go to France. When Northumberland dismisses her suggestion, she says she wants to go wherever Richard goes, but Richard himself says it would be better if they are far apart than near and unable to meet or be happy together. They kiss and part.
Analysis
Richard is now a figure of pathos. In spite of his earlier behavior that brought his ruin on him, it is difficult not to sympathize with him at this point, especially in the touching farewell he bids to his queen. He also shows himself to be an astute judge-now it is too late-of future political developments between Henry IV and Northumberland.

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