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Richard II Monologue

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poisoned by their wives: some sleeping killed;
All murdered: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be feared and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humoured thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me, I am a king?
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Leon Katz

Leon Katz is a theater artist and a scholar. His numberous plays include plays include adaptations of Finnegan's Wake, The Marquis de Sade’s Justine, The Odyssey, and Remembrance of Things Past. His career as a professor and dramaturg spans the globe; he taught at Yale, UCLA, Cornell, Stanford, Columbia University, Vassar College, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Giessen in Germany. Katz contributed dramaturgy to Tony Kushner's play Angels in America.
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Richard II Monologue
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Players

Playing With
Shakespeare

Kahlil Joseph

Playing With
Shakespeare

Gregory Myhre

Playing With
Shakespeare

Jeremiah O'Brian