Quotes

Richard II/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “Mine honor is my life; both grow in
one.  Take honor from me, and my life is
done.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1,
Lines 188-189.  Thomas Mowbray to Richard
II.  A Thomas Mowbray has been accused by the king of being complicit in the murder of the king’s uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. Mowbray defends himself beautifully; he convincingly claims that he is not guilty as charged, saying “I slew him not.” Mowbray offers this quote near the end of his defense. He goes on to say “Mine honor let me defend. In that I live, and for that will I die.” The king spares his life but banishes him from England.

Richard II/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “All places that the eye of heaven visits are
to a wise man ports and happy havens.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3,
Lines 281-282.  John of Gaunt to Henry Bolingbroke.  John of Gaunt, an English hero for all time, was the fourth son of Edward III, the patriarch of all these Plantagenets, the surname of these fifteenth century English kings. Henry (or Harry) Bolingbroke is Gaunt’s son. Bolingbroke has been exiled to France for six years by his cousin, Richard II. Bolingbroke is the one who had accused Thomas Mowbray of being involved in the murder of his and Richard II’s uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. John of Gaunt offers his son this quote as the young man is about to leave for France. He offers his son other timeless advice such as “suppose the flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more than a delightful dance.”

Richard II/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “They say the tongues of dying men enforce attention
like deep harmony.  They breathe truth
that breathe their words in pain.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1,
Lines 9-11.   John of Gaunt to York.  A fatally ill John of Gaunt desperately wants to offer advice to the young king, his nephew. Gaunt’s younger brother, Edward III’s fifth son, the Duke of York, wants his brother to be quiet and rest, saying the young king won’t listen to him. John of Gaunt was his own man. Gaunt defies his brother, offering him this quote.

Richard II/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote:
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines
55-56.  John of Gaunt to York  A dying John of Gaunt, the father, grandfather and great-grandfather of kings, lets all know of his love for his homeland, outdoing himself with a soliloquy that surely is one of England’s favorites.

Richard II/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege of wat’ry Neptune, is now bound
in with shame.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 1,
Lines 67-69.  John of Gaunt to York.  The dying John of Gaunt continues to let us know how disappointed he is with the current king’s leadership and the adverse impact it’s had on England. This is part of the same long soliloquy, one of Shakespeare’s best, found early in this first Plantagenet history.

Richard II/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “His tongue is now a stringless instrument.  Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 1,
Lines 157-160.    Northumberland to
Richard II.  The Earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy, close to Gaunt and Bolingbroke in this play, reports to the king that John of Gaunt has died. To our disappointment, this is all we get of John of Gaunt, one of history’s great men. The king, grossly underplaying Gaunt’s death, says “Let them die that age and ill humor have” and “Now for our Irish wars.” Northumberland plays a leading role in furthering the career of young Henry Bolingbroke.

Richard II/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The ripest fruit first falls,
and so doth he; his time is spent.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1,
Lines 161-162.  Richard II to York.  Learning of his uncle Gaunt’s death, Richard II’s thoughts turn to Gaunt’s estate, saying that to assist him with the financing of the Irish wars, he plans to seize the gold, silver, property and other assets “whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possessed.” This action turns out to be a mistake made by the young king.

Richard II/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “If you do wrongfully seize Bolingbroke’s
rights, you pluck a thousand dangers on your head.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1,
Lines 210-214.  York to Richard II.  Ever loyal-to-England York, Gaunt’s younger brother and an uncle to the king, lays into the young king, warning him that by seizing Gaunt’s assets he is asking for trouble, saying such things as “Was not Gaunt just? Is not Harry Bolingbroke true? Did not the one deserve to have an heir?” Richard II dismisses his Uncle York, saying “Tomorrow next we will for Ireland.” Bolingbroke, having been in exile but for a brief time, but having gathered widespread support, leaves France with deep resources, bound for the north of England.

Richard II/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Yet I know no cause why I should welcome such
a guest as grief.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 2,
Lines 6-7.   The Queen to Bushy.  The queen and others close to the king have just learned that Henry Bolingbroke has left France, landed on England’s north coast at Ravenspurgh, and has gathered a substantial number of English (and French) supporters. Bushy tries to console the queen, telling her not to worry. She notes that “My inward soul persuades me it is otherwise.”

Richard II/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “Sorrow’s eyes divide one thing into many
objects that show nothing but confusion.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 2,
Lines 16-17.  Bushy to the Queen.  Sir John Bushy, one of the king’s key aides, continues his attempt to console the queen, the queen legitimately worried for her husband’s (and her) well-being and future. Bushy makes comments such as “Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows which shows like grief itself but is not so.”