Few of Shakespeare's tragic characters have had so many detractors as Richard II, who has been variously dismissed as a capricious tyrant, a self-absorbed poet, and a Protean dramatic force whose unpredictable actions at times threaten the structural integrity of the play. This perception has in turn influenced the interpretation of Bolingbroke as a competent antagonist who brings much-needed order to the chaotic universe of the first two acts of Richard II. This essay sides with the minority of defenders of Richard-the character as the central intelligence who exerts the greatest control over the dramatic events as they are represented upon the stage and on the page. In discussing Richard's recourse to constructions of human history imported from providentialist historiography I make ample use of Francis Bacon's own self-representations as the abused Messiah of experimental philosophy.
Teatro inglés; Drama histórico; Personajes literarios; Tema histórico; Providencialismo; Shakespeare, William; Richard II; Bacon, Francis