Bolingbroke And York essay example
Northumberland was last seen with King Richard, so Northumberland has crossed sides. Ross and Willoughby have also pledged their allegiance to Bolingbroke. A new character, Harry Percy who is the son of Northumberland also appears in this scene. It is important that the scene starts with Bolingbroke, as the audience can establish that he is back straightaway. Bolingbroke is also increasing in popularity as he has and is still establishing power. Two sides are now beginning to form between Bolingbroke and King Richard.
It is an important factor that Bolingbroke is joined by various Nobles from England, as this demonstrates that they are not content with the way that Richard is running the country and also that the Nobles have power and will bring followers, being enough men to form an army against the King. Unlike King Richard, Bolingbroke just enters the stage. In Richard's scenes there are trumpets and very colourful ceremonies. This is important as later on in the play when Bolingbroke takes the throne he enters with ceremonial features, just like Richard in the previous scenes.
The conversation begins between Bolingbroke and York, Bolingbroke's uncle. Between lines 85 and 135 Bolingbroke tries to explain to York reasons for his return and plays with York by using his family connections to try to justify his argument. York completely disagrees with Bolingbroke and asks him to think through what he is doing as it is wrong. The conversation ends with York giving in and telling Bolingbroke he will not take sides and that he will remain neutral between Bolingbroke and Richard: "Nor friends nor foes to me welcome you are" In this scene Bolingbroke's argument appears to be more effective than York's, as York gives the impression that he is weak in the way that at Laura Knight the end of their conversation he gives up and tells Bolingbroke that he is not going to get involved. Line 85 is spoken by Bolingbroke himself. It is Bolingbroke, trying to flatter York straight after York having told Bolingbroke not to flatter him.
Bolingbroke is obviously not paying any attention to York as he continues to flatter him: "My Gracious Uncle -". Bolingbroke also repeats these words in line 106, this is important because he doesn't appear to be listening to York's response against his flattery. Here Bolingbroke's argument is more effective, as he carries on regardless of what York has said. Bolingbroke used this technique at the beginning of the play when trying to flatter King Richard, referring to him as cousin. Flattery is Bolingbroke's way of gaining popularity. York responds to Bolingbroke by saying: "Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.
I am no traitor's uncle, and that word 'grace' In an ungracious mouth is but profane". York is angered by Bolingbroke's attempt to flatter him; he calls his words ungracious as they hold no meaning of honesty as he is just using them to win York round. Referring to him as 'uncle' also reminds us that they are related, which is again repeated further on when Bolingbroke tries to justify his reason to York for his banishment and appeals to him through his right of inheritance and ancestry. Bolingbroke's argument here is very effective as he appeals to York through ancestry saying: "As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself Rescued the Black Prince" This does not appear to work so he exploits his relationship with York saying that if it was Au merle in Bolingbroke's situation and Gaunt was still alive he would have helped him. This is effective as Bolingbroke is once again using his connection through his family to help justify his argument further.
York also refers to Bolingbroke as being a traitor, "I am no traitor's uncle" York also reinforces this in line 109 saying: "In gross rebellion and detested treason". The word treason reinforces his treachery towards King Richard. York tells Bolingbroke that he has been banished for a reason. York pleads to Bolingbroke through the idea of the divine right of kings, thus helping his argument. York refers to Bolingbroke as a "foolish boy".
Bolingbroke is rather foolish to think that he can rebel against the King as the Laura Knight Elizabethans believed that the King was appointed by God and the theme of the divine right of kings and the chain of being underlies here as everything has its correct place in the world. Contextually Shakespeare is commenting on civil war and its impacts, as when Shakespeare wrote The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne at the time, but she was getting old and she had nobody to succeed the throne after her. England was worried at the time about the consequences of the weak succession as they feared that it would result in a civil war. This is exactly what happens in this play.
From studying lines 85-135 I can conclude that Bolingbroke's argument is more effective as he use his relationship with York to manipulate him and helps to justify his argument appealing through hereditary rights: "My rights and royalties Plucked from my arms perforce and given away To upstart unthrifty? Wherefore was I born?" This makes Bolingbroke's argument more effective and justified as the audience feels for him and believes that Bolingbroke should be entitled to what is rightfully his. York obviously realises this and backs down, telling Bolingbroke that he lays neutrally between them both. It is in doing this that adds to Bolingbroke's effectiveness of argument.