Richard II, by William Shakespeare, is a play about a King whom is a poor chose in spending his countries wealth, separated from his subjects, and makes unwise decisions for counsel. Richard II then begins to lease land to wealthy noblemen and takes the money from a deceased uncle to fund his lifestyle the commoners and other noblemen become outraged. In the play there are symbolisms to England as being like “Eden”; and the first symbolism and maybe one of the most significant ones is by John of Gaunt in Act 2, scene 1, lines 31-68. After Gaunt’s symbolic reference to England as a garden there are other symbolisms towards gardens referenced throughout the play along that aid in Shakespeare’s use of imagery. The first symbolic comparison of gardens is seen in Act 2, scene 1, lines 31-68 by John of Gaunt. Gaunt begins describing England as a garden; “This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself; Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall, Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands, This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings [... ] This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land, Dear for her reputation through the world, Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it, Like to a tenement or pelting farm” (Bevington, 2009, pg341). This is a reference to what England used to be before Richard started his wrath upon the land. Another reference to a garden and the actions of Richard can be seen in Act 3, scene 4, lines 56-66. The Gardener states “That he has not so trimmed and dressed his land, As we this garden! We at time of year, Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees, Lest being overproud in sap and blood, With too much...
References: Bevington, D. (2009). The necessary shakespeare, as you like it. (Third ed., p. 341, 356).
New York: Pearson Education, Inc.
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