Keeper is a minor character in William Shakespeare's play Richard II. Although he does not have a significant role, his appearance in the play adds depth to the overall storyline. Keeper is a servant who works in the Tower of London, where the deposed King Richard II is held captive by his cousin, Bolingbroke (who becomes King Henry IV). Despite his limited stage time, Keeper's actions and dialogue provide insight into the political turmoil and power dynamics of the play.
In the play, Keeper is tasked with the responsibility of guarding the imprisoned Richard II. His loyalty to the deposed king is evident as he tries to console and support Richard during his imprisonment. Keeper's interactions with Richard reveal his understanding of the political climate and his empathy for the fallen king. He listens to Richard's lamentations and offers words of solace, recognizing the injustice that has befallen him.
One of the significant roles played by Keeper is his representation of the oppressive nature of the Tower of London. The Tower, a historically notorious prison, is a symbol of confinement and loss of power throughout the play. Keeper's presence in the Tower reinforces this theme, as he serves as a constant reminder of Richard's captivity. His interactions with Richard highlight the psychological and emotional toll that imprisonment has on the former king.
Despite being a minor character, Keeper's role in Richard II is crucial in conveying the themes of power, loyalty, and imprisonment. His empathy towards Richard humanizes the deposed king and emphasizes the injustices he has suffered. Keeper's presence in the Tower of London adds depth to the play's overall narrative, providing a glimpse into the political dynamics of the time. While his appearances may be brief, Keeper's impact on the audience's understanding of the play should not be underestimated.