To Shakespeare's contemporaries, Richard II was a balanced dramatisation of the central political and constitutional issue of the time, how to cope with an unjust ruler. But over the last century or so, the play came to be regarded as the poetic fall of a tragic hero. The Introduction to this edition provides a full context for both the Shakespearean and the modern views of King Richard's fall. For this updated edition the editor has added a new section to the Introduction which takes account of the number of important professional theatre productions and the large output of scholarly criticism on the play which have appeared in recent years. The Reading List has also been revised and augmented.