King Richard the Second marks the first play in William Shakespeare’s second “history tetralogy,” a series of four plays chronicling the rise of the house of Lancaster to the British throne. Set circa AD 1398, the story follows Richard II as he falls from power and is replaced by the first Lancaster king, Henry IV. Richard II is a noble but wasteful man who shows a lack of wisdom in those from whom he seeks counsel. He spends much of his time throwing money at trivial matters rather than focusing on his country and his people. When he gets into shady dealings in order to raise funds for one of his wars, both commoners and noblemen decide the king has gone too far.
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