The Essex Rebellion
Shakespeare also became briefly involved in political dissent at this time. His two series of English history plays included the deposition of two monarchs (Richard II and Richard III). There were contemporary problems with the play Richard II because of its comparisons with Elizabeth I.
BOTH MONARCHS LACKED A DIRECT HEIR, AND ELIZABETH’S ENEMIES WERE LOOKING TO DEPOSE HER, MUCH AS RICHARD’S HAD DONE.
On 7 February 1601, the afternoon before they attempted a coup d’état, a group led by the Earl of Essex sponsored a performance of Richard II by the Chamberlain’s Men.