The Transformation of Richard II –
A story of transformation and presence in the face of an unacceptable fate. Apollo Theater presents an understanding of Richard II as a story of transformation of suffering. Meanwhile, the divine station between heaven and earth is emblazoned on Richard’s shield. Finally, unseated by a rival claimant to the throne, Richard must abandon his dream of kingship, to become divine.
Yet what does it mean to accept one’s fate? And how do we abandon the imaginary picture of who we are? Shakespeare’s Richard must leave everything behind.
As essence is real, it can transform shocks, while personality cannot. To see what is occurring to us, and see truly, is a first step towards reality. Ultimately, much is removed before we stand firmly in the present moment.
Clearly Richard believed in the divine right of kings. While his cousin Henry Bolingbroke did not, and took his throne. For Henry, only might became right. At the end of his life, Richard understood, in Shakespeare’s play, the divine aspect of relinquishing himself. Surely Shakespeare knew about transformation, making this the key to the story.
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