Richard II’s inevitable downfall: Aspects of Tragedy

Shakespeare creates an inevitability of downfall in Richard II. This is brought about by the foreshadowing of Gaunt’s speeches that describe the tragic hero’s state that is in “reputation sick” due to the fact a “thousand flatterers sit within thy crown”. The assonance here really charges the line with power- making a clear link to the Tragic hero’s flaw, and with the stubborn reaction of Richard, Shakespeare agonises the audience who feel the tragic hero is starting to go beyond redemption.


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