William Shakespeare was born some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and died in 1616. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Paul Edmondson is Head of Education at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
'Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm off from an anointed king'
Richard, a vain, despotic ruler, listens only to his flatterers. When his cousin Bolingbroke, previously banished, returns to seize the crown, Richard discovers that the throne given to him by God can be taken from him by men. Depicting a tortured and morally ambivalent soul wearing the 'hollow crown', whose illusions are brutally shattered, this tragic history play unravels the idea of kingship. It is also a work of epic lyricism, filled with some of Shakespeare's most intoxicating poetry.
Used and Recommended by the National Theatre
General Editor Stanley Wells
Edited by Stanley Wells
Introduction by Paul Edmondson
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