66Blanche, his wife, in contrast, has had great interest in and aptitude for such things. She is indeed a great political force but only in the sense that you imagine the talk between husband and wife. The Bastard good-naturedly recalls the part of the story in which Eleanor incites Philip to imprison her cousin John when he is in the thrall of her powerful father. \"Mine hostess, how long is she?\" (TLN 912).
The presence of the ghosts in this new version of Eleanor's story only serves to reinforce this theme: whoever finds himself outside this virtuous circle finds himself stuck in an unsettled world, where "mockeries are abroad, / And most ridiculous things are practised" (R3 TLN 3648-9).
The Commander (and thus the audience) returns to the theme of imposters, beginning to wonder whether he really is in the right place. Kings in this play find themselves struggling to assert their authority in a world where they can be replaced with ease, with little consequence to most except the loss of their authority:
The same theme--and the same inexplicably rich asides--breaks in the final scene, where the ghosts begin to admit that they are dead, while Richard and John, who are still walking around, dismiss them with the same derisive scorn: 7211a4ac4a