If I do a film and have to get naked, that tends to dictate how often I go to the gym. Acting in 'Richard II' on stage was a huge physical workout, so I ended up more toned than I normally am.
But as Shakespeare’s Richard II boasts, ‘Not all the water in the rough rude sea/Can wash the balm off from an anointed king.
Shakespeare wrote great poetry and preposterous plays. Who really cares, for example, which petty tyrant rules Milan? Or who succeeds to the throne of Denmark? Or why the barons ganged up on Richard II?
Modern historians have suggested that in his last years he (Richard II) was overtaken by mental disease, but that is only a modern view of the malfunction common to 14th century rulers: inability to inhibit impulse.
But we remember that it was just precisely in the reign of Richard II that the Peasants' War, following upon the changes wrought by the visitations of the Great Plague, virtually destroyed serfdom as a personal status.
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