order of writing: Henry VI ( 3 parts ), Richard III, King John, Richard II, Henry IV (2 parts ), Henry V, Henry VIII.
chronological order: 1377 to 1547 - Richard II, Henry IV ( 2 parts ), Henry V, Henry VI ( 3 parts), Richard III.
the principle of order: the world is seen as a part of the eternal law of order and human events are firmly woven into the total web of things: A Each hath his place and function to attend ( 1H6, I.i.173-175 ). Thus the macrocosm, microcosm, and body politic are inseparable realms and actions in one direction affect the whole world.
the gallery of kings: The weak king – Richard II
the ideal king - Henry V
the evil king – Richard III
Richard II: Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented. Sometimes am I the king;
Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am. Then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king.
Then am I kinged again, and by and by
Think that I am unkinged by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing, but whate`er I be,
Nor I, nor any man that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleased till he be eased
With being nothing.
The music plays
Music do I hear.
Ha, ha; keep time! How sour sweet music is
When time is broke and no proportion kept.
So is it in the music of men`s lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
To check time broke in a disordered string;
But for the concord of my state and time
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me,
For now hath time make me his numb`ring clock.
My thoughts are minutes, and with sights that jar
They watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch
Whereto my finger, like a dial`s point,
Is pointing still in cleansing them from tears.
Now, sir, the sound that strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell. So sights, and tears, and groans
Show minutes, hours, and times. But my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke`s proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his jack of the clock.
This music mads me. Let sound no more,
For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
It me it seems it will make wise men mad.
The music ceased.
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me,
For `tis a sign of love, and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.
( V. v. 1-66 )
The ideal king Henry V
The villain king: Richard III
Richard Gloucester: Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of
And all the clouds that loured upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,
Our stearn alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front,
And now-instead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries-
He capers nimbly in a lady`s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass,
I that am rudely stamped and want love`s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph,
I that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up -
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them -
Why, I in this weak piping time of peace
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.
And therefore since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have a laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams
To set my brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate the one against the other.
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mewed up
About a prophecy which says that `G`
Of Edward`s heirs the murderer shall be.
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