P / P Excerpt: King Richard II with Commentary

Photo Credit: Prisoners of Eternity

“Richard II: The Boy who would be King”

[P / P Edit One] Editor’s Note: In my life, Shakespeare’s writing is essential when it comes to building, training and understand the root of writing the key element of a story. It is not about color, origin, race of creed, it is about learning how to be a great Western writer. It is also great to simply be spectator of Shakespeare’s plays and how they influenced the world. There is nothing wrong with that. But as I worked on manuscripts over the years, Shakespeare’s output and collection of writing has crept up and returned again and again, becoming a foundation when I begin to write in a voice and language that has a breadth, emotional width and situational range.

Should my and everyone’s work be inspired by Shakespeare? Of course not, anyone can pick and choose when they are ready to delve into the poet and playwright’s work and furthermore, choose what style they want to use when researching and reading to prepare to personally write long form.

Below is a passage from King Richard II. It jumped out at me and challenged me as I have been transcribing passages by hand from the play for the last couple of months. It was challenging because this passage is long and the book is pocket sized, so the type it very small. It took concentration to complete. This is the first time I have typed a transcription from Richard the II.

King Richard is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies.

King Richard II

Act V

[Scene V. Pomfret Castle.]

Enter Richard alone.

______________

Richard. I have been studying how I may compare

This prison where I live unto the world;

And for because the world is populous,

And here it is not a creature but myself,

I cannot do it. Yet I’ll hammer it out:

My brain I’ll prove the female to my soul,

My soul soul the father, and these two begat

A generation of still-breeding thoughts;

And these same thoughts people this little world,

In humors like the people of this world,

For no thought is contented. The better sort,

As thoughts of things divine are intermixed

With scruples, and do set the world itself

Against the word, as thus: “Come, little ones”;

And then again,

“It is hard to come as for a camel

T0 thread the postern of a  small needle’s eye.

Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot

Unlikely wonders: how these vain weak nails

May tear a passage thorough the flinty ribs

Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;

And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.

Thoughts tending content flatter themselves

That they are not the first of fortune’s slaves,

Not shall not be the last, like seely beggars

Who sitting in the stocks refuge their shame,

That they may have, and others must, sit there;

And in this thought they find a kind of ease,

Bearing their own misfortunes on the back

Of such as before endured the like.

Thus play I in one person many people,

And none contented; sometimes am I king,

Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,

And so I am. Then crushing penury

Persuades me I was better when a king.

Then I am kinged again and, by and by,

Think that I am unkinged by Bolingbroke,

And straight am nothing. But whate’er I be,

Nor I, nor any man that but man is,

With nothing shall be pleased, till he be eases

With being nothing…

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s