Featuring Raphael Bostic, Carla Della Gatta, Lisa Schweitzer, and Donnajean Ward Richard II, the first of four Shakespeare plays known as the “Henriad,” is the tale of strife between Richard II, the rightful but terrible king, and his cousin Henry Bolingbroke. Followed by Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, and Henry V, Shakespeare explores the question of political legitimacy and accountability – questions we still ask ourselves today. We meet Richard soon after he has commissioned the assassination of one of his uncles, a rash decision which brings him into conflict with his cousin Henry. Richard banishes Henry. But when Henry’s father dies, Richard seizes his land and wealth – which brings Henry back to England to gain back his rightful estate. Henry rallies several nobles and common folk alike, forcing Richard to face his lack of leadership skills and abdicate the throne. What is the great tragedy in The Tragedy of Richard II? What makes a good leader – a king, a president? Can Shakespeare inform political discussions today? Listen and see what our guests think. To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast discussion of Richard II click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through Soundcloud or iTunes!