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MonkeyNotes-Richard II by William Shakespeare
Act V, Scene 4

This is a very short scene and barely exceeds eleven lines. It focuses on Sir Pierce Exton, who is speaking to his servant in one of the rooms in Windsor Castle. He asks the servant whether the king's words were "Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?" The servant affirms that those were the very words of the king. Exton tells the servant that the king had spoken these words twice and looked wistfully at him as if to say, "I would thou wert the man / That would divorce this terror from my heart." Exton misinterprets Bolingbroke's words as expressing a desire to eliminate Richard, who is imprisoned in the dungeon of Pomfret Castle. The scene closes with their exit. Exton departs with the intention of murdering Richard.


Notes

This short scene is a piece of dramatic reportage. The audience is informed that Exton has resolved to kill Richard because he has misinterpreted Henry's words.

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