Shakespeare’s Richard the Second


Course Code: HRII-sp23 Categories: , , Tags: , ,


In the eyes of many, King Richard II has brought his country down with needless wars and heedless ways. As the dying John of Gaunt, ancestor of all English monarchs since Henry IV, says, “…England that was wont to conquer others/ Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.” Richard is opposed by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, popular and dashing. This first of Shakespeare’s history plays about the Wars of the Roses considers, in gorgeous language, what the moral, philosophical, and practical consequences are of rebelling against a foolish and unpopular king. We’ll discuss the uses and abuses of power as Shakespeare imagines them, and connect them to our own time. The first class is an introduction to the play, and there is no homework for this evening. In each of the five remaining classes, we’ll read and discuss the play act by act until done. No experience necessary.

Cammy Thomas has published three books of poems with Four Way Books.  The most recent is Tremors (2021).  Her two previous poetry collections are Inscriptions, and Cathedral of Wish, which won the Norma Farber first Book Award from the Poetry Society of America.  Cammy earned a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley, with a dissertation on the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. She has taught literature and creative writing for many years, and lives in Bolton, MA.

Start Date: 5/4/2023, 6 meetings
Class Time: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Day of Week: Thursday
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Cammy Thomas
Status: Running/Openings