King Richard Iii Essay Questions
Unable to persuade the adversaries to put aside their differences, Richard sanctions the duel: On the appointed day at Coventry, a crowd surrounds the fenced-in field to observe the joust.In 1386, these nobles persuaded Parliament to establish a commission to supervise and manipulate the teenage king.One of the ringleaders of these nobles was Gaunts brother, Thomas Woodstock, the Earl of Gloucester.But because he spends lavishly and has run low on money, he plans to bleed the already overtaxed people to pay for the campaign.His spending has already aroused the common people against him.They had been allies as part of a powerful faction of five nobles that gained control of Parliament in 1386 and attempted to manipulate the young king, then twenty-one.Richard, now thirty-one, orders John of Gauntthe Duke of Lancaster and father of Bolingbroketo summon Mowbray and Bolingbroke to court for a hearing.Gaunt, broken down by advancing age and the banishment of his son (Bolingbroke), is now dying.Richard, displaying the cruelest of his sides, cheers for Gaunts death, for Gaunt has money and propertyenough to finance Richards incursion into Ireland.In 1397, he had Woodstock (referred to in the play as Gloucester) arrested and imprisoned at Calais, France, under the watchful eye of Mowbray. Bolingbroke and Mowbray now seemed ripe subjects for the kings crackdown.Woodstock was later murdered in mysterious circumstances, probably at the behest of the vengeful king. Worried, Mowbray foolishly disclosed his fears to Bolingbroke, an ambitious man who took advantage of the situation by accusing Mowbray of killing Woodstock. Shakespeares play begins with a hearing on these accusations before King Richard.