The Life and Death of King Richard the Second, commonly called Richard II, is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written around 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England (ruled 1377–1399) and chronicles his downfall and the machinations of his nobles. It is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays about Richard's successors: Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; and Henry V.
Although the First Folio (1623) includes the play among the histories, the earlier Quarto edition of 1597 calls it The tragedie of King Richard the second.
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