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Richard Ii
(William Shakespeare)

Richard II opens with the accusation of Henry Bolingbroke that Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, is responsible for the murder of the Duke of Gloucester, uncle to both Richard and Henry. Richard decrees that the two shall settle the matter in trial by combat but revokes this option as Norfolk and Bolingbroke are readying to attack each other. His new decision is that both men be banished. Within a short time Bolingbroke's father, the Duke of Lancaster, dies. Richard seizes his late uncle's estates in order to raise capital for a campaign against Ireland.In the meantime, despite his banishment, Bolingbroke has returned to assist the Earl of Northumberland and other disgruntled nobles against the King while he is away in Ireland. Richard has named another uncle, the Duke of York, as his regent during his absence and the nobles attempt to sway him to their cause. Upon Richard's return he learns that Bolingbroke has not only returned to reclaim the lands he should have inherited upon his father's death but that he has dispersed Richard's army and executed a pair of Richard's favorites. Richard flees to Flint Castle for his own protection.Bolingbroke meets him there and takes him back to London as a prisoner. There, in a session of Parliament, Richard is made to confess his crimes against the state; the end result of which is he must forfeit his crown to Bolingbroke (who becomes King Henry IV). Intrigue develops as the Duke of York's son, Aumerle, conspires against the new King Henry in response to Richard's loss of the throne. Aumerle is granted clemency but Richard is imprisoned in Pomfret Castle. While there, Sir Pierce of Exton murders him (believing this to be the wish of the king). Henry disavows the deed when he hears of it, however, and promises a Crusade to atone for Richard's death

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