A Royal Reflection: The final soliloquy of Richard II
Richard's final soliloquy (Richard II, V.v.1-66) marks both the culmination of his transformation from a callous monarch to a poetic philosopher and his moral ascent resulting from his deposition as the King of England. In this scene, Richard is alone, in a prison cell at Pomfret Castle, for the first time in the play. This privacy enables him to reveal an enlightened, reminiscent eloquence
showed first 75 words of 1265 total
showed last 75 words of 1265 total
seems it will make wise men mad. (RII, V.v.61-63)
With a new ability to see the errors in his ways, as well as his philosophical questioning of the world around him, Richard is ready to face death in a noble fashion. He may not have achieved full-fledged hero status in his transformation, but has certainly earned a degree of sympathy and respect from the reader that was not possible earlier in the play.