The Duke of Aumerle is a character in William Shakespeare's play, Richard II. He is one of the central figures in the play and plays a significant role in the political intrigue and power struggles that unfold throughout the story. Aumerle is a complex character who undergoes a transformation from a loyal supporter of King Richard II to a conspirator against him.
Aumerle is the son of the Duke of York and is depicted as a young and ambitious nobleman. He is initially portrayed as a devoted follower of Richard II and is often seen by the King's side. However, as the play progresses, Aumerle becomes disillusioned with Richard's leadership and is swayed by the rebellious factions that seek to overthrow the King.
The turning point for Aumerle occurs when he is accused of being involved in a plot to assassinate the Duke of Gloucester. While Aumerle denies any involvement, his loyalty to Richard begins to waver. He becomes torn between his allegiance to the King and his desire to align himself with the conspirators. This inner conflict is a central theme in Aumerle's character arc.
As the political landscape becomes more volatile, Aumerle's role becomes increasingly significant. He is caught between his family ties to the Duke of York and his loyalty to Richard. This conflict eventually leads him to join the conspiracy against the King, although his motives remain unclear. Aumerle's actions are driven by a combination of ambition, fear, and a desire for self-preservation.
Despite his involvement in the plot against Richard, Aumerle is ultimately unable to escape the consequences of his actions. In the final act of the play, he is confronted by his father, the Duke of York, who accuses him of treason. Aumerle's fate is left uncertain, as the play concludes with Richard's deposition and the ascension of Henry Bolingbroke to the throne.
The character of the Duke of Aumerle offers a fascinating exploration of loyalty, ambition, and the complexities of political power. His transformation from a loyal follower to a conspirator highlights the moral ambiguity that permeates the play. Aumerle's story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of blind allegiance and the consequences of betraying one's principles.