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Richard II and Henry VI were weak but well intentioned monarchs who had the misfortune immediately to inherit the crown from illustrious predecessors How does Shakespeares portrayal of these two kings support this observation In order to assess this notion that Richard II and Henry IV were weak but well-intentioned monarchs who had the misfortune immediately to inherit the crown from illustrious predecessor it is of course necessary to examine these predecessors In Richards case he was created Prince of Wales and succeeded his grandfather Edward III to the throne During his minority his uncle John of Gaunt was the most influential single noble John of Gaunt was the son of Edward III Edwards first son Richard II father the battle-famous Black Prince died before he was able to succeed his father hence it was the Richard who became King Richard II Richard was only 10 years old and as such he was obviously he not capable of ruling Whilst Richard had a number of uncles chief among advisers was his uncle John of Gaunt the powerful Duke of Lancaster For a short time John of Gaunt in effect ruled England However the struggle for power among several rival lords perpetuated the faction-ridden government inherited by Richard from his predecessor It is perhaps not then unsurprising that when Richard asserted his independence from his uncles and chose his own advisors including John Bushy William Bagot and Henry Green to help him govern that he was going to find it difficult to follow the example of the wiser more mature John of Gaunt Richard cannot for example compete with the experiences that John of Gaunt has encountered John of Gaunt is one of the few nobles to see what the common people of England have seen That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself Richard II 2165-66 John of Gaunt scorns King
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