The entirety of act four was a layout of previous predictions I made. I had said that there would most likely be such a revolt by the people if the king, the person who was supposed to be the one who put the well-being of the people and their kingdom ahead of himself, did not find original honor of his position. That original honor is what the title of king, previously expressed, stands for. The entire play was a lead up to the moment when Richard’s crown would be taken. The reality of what has led to that moment, though, seems to have escaped from Richard’s view: he clearly does not see the injustices made on his part as having done wrong.
When Bolingbroke seizes the crown, it is done so through more assumption than violence. It is assumed by Richard that if Bolingbroke is capturing him then he must surrender his crown, and it seems to play out as such an event because of this assumption. When Bolingbroke takes power, it seems as though in his mind he is taking it for the good of the people. And while that may be the intention, it’s clear that there are some self-serving motivations occurring. While there is an understanding for this (Richard having stolen his inheritance and dishonored his father, family, home, and name), Bolingbroke should still take caution. The men who stood so faithful and diligent by the side of their now demeaned king are at his side now, supposedly just as diligent and devoted; it’s something that he should be mindful of.
Unlike Bolingbroke, the audience is aware of the aspiring conspiracies. So when the names of those who are planning to murder him come out, the surprise is mostly within the realm of Bolingbroke’s mind as opposed to everyone’s. It’s almost as though a circle has come about, the way in which Richard had taken the thrown (supposedly) and how now Bolingbroke has now; how most of Richard’s loyal men betrayed him and are not behind Bolingbroke (they’re probably standing behind him with a dagger held up high, ready to plunge it down when the time seems right). The main difference though would be that there were some better intentions on Bolingbroke’s part for seizing the crown, but there still lays some selfishness nonetheless. Maybe that’s something that Shakespeare wanted to point out. That no matter what the intention is, once power is seized, it really does go to the person’s head and they inevitably feel it rage and crash inside them.