Raccontando «tristi storie della morte dei re».Testo, contesto e rappresentazioni del Riccardo II di Shakespeare
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William Shakespeare’s Richard ii presents philosophical and political themes related to the history of England and a symbolical interpretation of the Wars of the Roses, on the one hand; and to the person of Queen Elizabeth i, on the other hand: as it is known, Queen Elizabeth identified explicitly herself with Shakespeare’s Richard of Bordeaux. As a matter of fact, the famous scene of Richard’s “unkinging” was censored during Elizabeth’s age. Moreover, the text shows a deep philosophical meaning related to the role of the king, conceived as a hieratic and holy guide. The paper analyses the text and explores the historical and modern staging of the play, from the representation committed by the Earl of Essex to the company of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, to acclaimed contemporary performances such as John Gielgud’s (1929) and Fiona Shaw’s (1997).