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The Tragedy of King Richard II

Theatre 250/376 Seminar Fall 2008


The Tragedy of King Richard II
by William Shakespeare

One of Shakepseare's most lyrical plays, this is the first of his history series that continues with Parts 1 and 2 of King Henry IV and with King Henry V. The unpopular King Richard II, having bankrupted his country, banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke who later returns and deposes Richard. Richard is imprisoned, and later murdered while Bolingbroke is crowned King Henry IV.


Course Goals:   This course is designed to provide background material for the Skidmore Theatre production of THE TRAGEDY OF KING RICHARD II. Students will develop an understanding of the history and background of Shakespeare and the play. The information discussed in the seminar class will be the resource material to inform the production work.

  • Develop a familiarity with William Shakespeare, his life and work
  • Study the nature of Shakespeare's verse
  • Understand the historical background of the play
  • Discuss parallels bewteen the play and today
  • Develop and improve communication skills through classroom discussion and presentations
  • Distinguish among, and formulate, types of questions asked by different disciplines, including theatre studies, history, religion, and government surrounding issues in the play
  • Develop critical skills through reading and analyzing material
  • Develop problem solving skills in fulfilling assignments
  • Transfer information to practical theatrical solutions
  • Understand the nature of collaboration
  • Read critically, and gather and interpret evidence
  • Consider and address complexities and ambiguities
  • Make connections among diverse materials and ideas
  • Recognize choices, examine assumptions and ask questions of themselves and of their own work
  • Formulate conclusions based upon evidence

© Lary Opitz 2008

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Lary Opitz, Prof.   |  Dept. of Theatre  |  Skidmore College  |  Rm. 237  |  Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theatre
Phone: (518) 580-5432  |  Fax: (518) 580-5444  |
  lopitz@skidmore.edu