Absolute Monarchy Is It Really Absolute?.
Throughout the henriad it seems that absolute monarchy does not work. The kings abuse and take advantage of their power. Richard II is a play that shows this quite well. Richard abuses his powers of being king and pays for his actions in the end. Absolute monarchy is criticized throughout Richard II in ways that are quite obvious.
King Richard believes that he should take over John of Gaunt's land when he dies instead of Bullingbrook. Since King Richard has exiled Bullingbrook he, Richard, believes that he himself deserves the land. Richards's cousin tries to talk some sense into Richard explaining to him that it really isn't right but it doesn't seem to work. .
Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands.
The royalties and rights of banish"d Herford?.
Is not Gaunt dead? and doth not Herford live?.
Was not Gaunt just? and is not Herford true?.
Did not the one deserve to have an heir?.
Is not his heir a well-deserving son?.
Take Herford's rights away, and take from Time.
His charters and his customary rights;.
Let not to-morrow then ensure to-day;.
Be not thyself; for how art thou a king.
But by fair sequence and succession?.
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,.
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts,.
And prick my tender patience to those thoughts.
Which honor and allegiance cannot think. (Act 2 scene 1 lines 189-199 and 205-208).
In this passage, York is attempting to tell King Richard that Gaunt is dead and Herford (Bullingbrook) deserves to inherit the land because he is a "well-deserving son". He also tries to make King Richard aware of that being a King means to be fair. York also warns King Richard that if does this selfish act of taking Bullingbrooks land for his own personal gain then havoc will come to him. In response to what York has told Richard, He says: "Think what you will, we seize in our hands/ His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands" (act 2 scene 1 lines 209-210).