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King Richard II :: Characters

King Richard II Characters

Richard II is King of England, John of Gaunt’s nephew and Bullingbrook’s cousin. Authoritarian, unwilling to listen to good advice, friendly with persons not of noble birth, he is not the sort of king likely to earn his noblemen’s love. 

 
 

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, is Richard’s uncle, Bullingbrook’s father, and probably the most respected man in the kingdom. 

 
 

The Duke of York is Richard’s uncle, John of Gaunt’s younger brother; when the latter dies, he is left the last living son of Edward III. 

 
 

Bullingbrook – or Henry of Derby, Duke of Hereford – is John of Gaunt’s son, Richard’s cousin, and later King Henry IV, once he has removed his cousin from the throne. 

 
 

Aumerle is the son of the Duke and Duchess of York, and therefore Richard and Bullingbrook’s cousin. He is very much of Richard’s party; though he asks the exiled Bullingbrook to write to him, he is happy to slander him to the King. 

 
 

Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, is accused by Bullingbrook of having been responsible for the murder of the Duke of Gloucester, as well as of corruption on a grand scale. 

 
 

Surrey is an English nobleman who swears that Fitzwater is lying about what Aumerle said concerning the Duke of Gloucester’s death. He is an older man. 

 
 

Salisbury is an English earl loyal to Richard. He attempts to keep a large Welsh force together to help Richard defeat Bullingbrook, but the King’s late arrival from Ireland prevents this. 

 
 

Berkeley is an English lord serving the Duke of York. He is careful not to get overly involved in the politics of the moment.

 
 

John Bushy is one of Richard’s friends, deeply disliked by the nobility for being a commoner and having the King’s ear. A well-spoken flatterer, he attempts to cheer up the Queen after Richard leaves for Ireland. 

 
 

John Bagot is one of Richard’s friends, deeply disliked by the nobility for being a commoner and having the King’s ear. He is perfectly aware that the common people are not overfond of Richard due to his heavy taxation. 

 
 

Henry Green is one of Richard’s friends, deeply disliked by the nobility for being a commoner and having the King’s ear. 

 
 

The Earl of Northumberland is an English nobleman with little love for Richard. When the King leaves for Ireland, Northumberland draws most of the rest of the nobility into a conspiracy against him to help Bullingbrook return. 

 
 

Harry/Henry Percy is Northumberland’s son. Quick to join the rebellion in his father’s wake, he is a good soldier, often used as a scout to discover the strength of castles that might resist. 

 
 

Ross is a nobleman greatly dissatisfied with Richard’s rule and over-taxation. Afraid of what might come next, he is quickly won over to Bullingbrook’s rebellion by Northumberland.

 
 

Willoughby is an English nobleman quick to listen to plans in Bullingbrook’s favor, being exasperated by Richard’s bad rule and the fear of what new exactions he may come up with. 

 
 

Fitzwater is a young English nobleman who swears that he heard Aumerle boast of being responsible for the death of the Duke of Gloucester. 

 
 

The Bishop of Carlisle is loyal to Richard out of principle. With the courage of his convictions, he publically speaks up against Bullingbrook’s taking the throne at the moment the man announces that he will do so. 

 
 

Abbot of Westminster is grieved at Richard’s deposition. Agreeing with the Bishop of Carlisle’s denunciation of its illegality, he forms a plot to assassinate the new King Henry. 

 
 

Lord Marshal is an official at the English court, whose job includes the regulating of tournaments and official duels. 

 
 

Stephen Scroop is a follower of Richard’s, who comes to tell him of the extent of the rebellion, though he wishes he did not have to. He is present when Richard surrenders to Bullingbrook.

 
 

Exton is an English knight who is convinced that Henry IV has surreptitiously given him orders to do away with Richard. 

 
 

The Welsh Captain is in charge of an army of Welsh soldiers loyal to King Richard. 

 
 

The Queen is Richard’s wife, a French princess. She is devoted to her husband, but has a great feeling of foreboding at his departure for Ireland.

 
 

The Duchess of York feels a great deal of pity for her nephew Richard after he is deposed and paraded through the streets. 

 
 

The Duchess of Gloucester is the widow of the Duke of Gloucester, one of Richard’s uncles, who was murdered under mysterious circumstances – most likely at the King’s orders.

 
 

The First Attending Lady is one of the Queen’s attendants in her safe place at the Duke of York’s. She attempts to distract the Queen from her worries, suggesting games or telling tales, but is not successful.

 
 

The Second Attending Lady, like the First, is one of the Queen’s attendants in her safe place at the Duke of York’s. A dancer and a singer, she attempts to distract the Queen from her worries, but is not successful.

 
 

The Servingman announces to York that Aumerle has left. Apparently not possessed of the best of memories, he suddenly remembers to mention that York’s sister-in-law has died. He is sent to gather the contents of York’s armory.

 
 

The First Herald is Bullingbrook’s servant, and acts as his spokesperson at the tourney.

 
 

The Second Herald is Mowbray’s servant, and acts as his spokesperson at the tourney.

 
 

The Keeper is a jailer in charge of Richard in his imprisonment at Pomfret. Ordered by Exton to no longer taste Richard’s food before giving it to him, he admits as much to the deposed King.

 
 

The Gardener tends the Duke of York’s gardens. Well-informed about current events, he is adept at relating what the plants in the garden and their problems of the state. 

 
 

The First Gardener’s Man doesn’t quite see the purpose of wasting his time on keeping a garden in order when the whole world is in turmoil. That being said, he trusts the Gardener’s opinion on the matter.

 
 

The Second Gardener’s Man is taken aback at the turn of events in the kingdom.

 
 

Exton’s First Servant confirms his master’s opinion about what Henry IV is expecting in regards to Richard. 

 
 

Exton’s Second Servant confirms his master’s opinion about what Henry IV is expecting in regards to Richard. 

 
 

The Groom serves the royal stables, and is still loyal to Richard after his deposition. 

 
 

Another Lord joins with Fitzwater in swearing that Aumerle is lying, and is ready to fight to prove it so. Whether or not he is correct in this is never resolved.

 
 
 
 
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