Shakespeare's Garden Images in "Richard II" Analytical Essay

Shakespeare's Garden Images in "Richard II"
Looks at William Shakespeare's pervasive use of garden imagery in his political allegory "Richard II".
# 119998 | 1,845 words | 1 source | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Jun 01, 2010 in Drama and Theater (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Richard II and III)

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This paper explains that the prevalent garden imagery in William Shakespeare's play "Richard II" suggests the interconnectedness between the natural world and mankind, which was an integral part of the lives of Elizabethan audiences. The speech made by John of Gaunt in Act II and the garden scene of Act III are examined as examples of this relationship between the natural word and humanity during the reign and ultimate fall of Richard II. The paper concludes that the power of Shakespeare's work is that the answers are not given to the political and moral questions posed throughout the play; thus, the audience must think about these important and meaningful themes.

From the Paper:

"The destructive force seen in England is coming from Richard, the anointed caretaker of the land. Rather than tend to his garden, which has been described as protected by God, he effectively opens the garden gates to corruption and decay, sullying the soil touched by God. He also makes the choice to seize the land and title of Gaunt upon his death, cutting off the rightful inheritance of Henry Bullingbroke, and completely ignoring the succession laws that have governed England alongside the monarchy. These actions violate the social order that has been the backbone of English civilization."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Shakespeare, William. Richard II. The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974. 805-837. Print.

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