Richard II: Top Ten Quotes

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Total Votes: 131
  1. John of Gaunt's speech on England.

    "This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
    This earth of majesty, seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-Paradise."
    Act 2, scene 1, line 40-42

  2. Richard II on the sacred nature of kingship

    "This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
    This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings."
    John of Gaunt's speech on England. Act 2, scene 1, lines 50-52
    3. "Not all the water in the rough rude sea
    Can wash the balm from an anointed king;
    The breath of worldly men cannot depose
    The deputy elected by the Lord."
    Act 3, scene 2, lines 54-57

  3. From out the fiery portals of the east.

    "Of comfort no man speak:
    Let's talk of graves, of worms, of epitaphs;
    Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
    Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
    Let's choose executors, and talk of wills."
    Richard when he realizes that defeat is inevitable. Act 3, scene 2, lines 144-48

  4. Loyalty Quote

    There lives or dies, true to King Richard's throne, A loyal, just and upright gentleman. (1.3.2)

  5. King Richard

    "See, see, King Richard doth himself appear,
    As doth the blushing discontented sun"e
    Act 3, scene 3, lines 62-64

  6. Northumberland's reply to the queen's request that she and Richard be sent into exile together.

    "Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
    Which, like unruly children, make their sire
    Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight."
    The gardener instructing his assistant. Act 3, scene 4, lines 29-31
    7. "You may my glories and my state depose,
    But not my griefs; still I am king of those."
    Richard in the abdication scene. Act 4, scene 1, lines 192-93
    8. "That were some love but little policy."
    Act 5, scene 1, line 84

  7. York describes the reaction of the crowd in London to the sight of the deposed Richard.

    "As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
    After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage,
    Are idly bent on him that enters next,
    Thinking his prattle to be tedious."
    Act 5, scene 2, line 23-26

  8. Richard's thoughts when he is imprisoned in Pomfret Castle

    "I have been studying how I may compare
    This prison where I live unto the world."
    Act 5, scene 5, lines 1-2

  9. Power

    God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute, His deputy anointed in His sight, Hath caused his death: the which if wrongfully, Let heaven revenge; for I may never lift An angry arm against His minister. DUCHESS Where then, alas, may I complain myself? JOHN OF GAUNT To God, the widow's champion and defense. DUCHESS Why, then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt. (1.1.2)

  10. Language and Communication

    Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal. 'Tis not the trial of a woman's war, The bitter clamour of two eager tongues, Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain; The blood is hot that must be cooled for this. Yet can I not of such tame patience boast As to be hushed and naught at all to say. First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me From giving reins and spurs to my free speech, Which else would post until it had returned These terms of treason doubled down his throat. (1.1.2)

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