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Research paper topic: 13 Were The Elizabethans More Bloodthirsty Or Tolerant Of - 1288 words
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13. Were the Elizabethans more bloodthirsty or tolerant of violence on stage than we are? In addition to the visible bloodletting, there is endless discussion of past gory deeds. Offstage violence is even brought into view in the form of a severed head. It's almost as though such over-exposure is designed to make it ordinary. At the same time, consider the basic topic of the play, the usurpation of the crown of England and its consequences.
These are dramatic events. They can support the highly charged atmosphere of bloody actions on stage as well as off. By witnessing Clarence's murder, which has been carefully set up, we develop a greater revulsion for its instigator. And even though we are spared the sight of the slaying of the young princes in the Tower, Richard's involvement before and after is carefully exploited. Every drop of blood referred to on stage or in the speeches helps build the effect Shakespeare wishes to achieve. The peace which comes after Richard's death is both a relief and a reward.
- 14. The Elizabethan audience knew from the start that Richmond was to become Henry VII, the first Tudor king of England and the grandfather of their own queen, Elizabeth I. As such, he had only to appear victorious at the play's conclusion. By the time he shows up, matters have progressed to a point where Richard's downfall is inevitable. But what good would victory be if the opposition had merely caved in? Shakespeare had to build Richmond's importance not only to satisfy history but to fulfill the dramatic development of the plot.
By sprinkling his name into the preceding scenes, Shakespeare makes Richmond's arrival a matter of importance. Once Richmond appears on stage, he never makes a false step or says the wrong thing. If his dialogue sounds slightly flat, it may be a deliberate contrast to that of the fiery, passionate Richard. Here is a man of reason who makes his mark with heroic action rather than words. In the duel scene, Richmond has an opportunity to achieve the stature denied him in speech. - TEST 2 - 1.
B 2. A 3. B 4. A 5. B 6.
B 7. C 8. A 9. C 10. B - 11.
From the start, Buckingham is only too willing to provide his support for Richard's schemes. He immediately allies himself with Richard by scorning his exemption from Margaret's curse. From then on, he willingly shares the risk for his share of the spoils. Remember, patronage is an important issue. During Edward IV's reign, Queen Elizabeth saw to it that her relatives and supporters were taken care of. Buckingham saw Richard as his key to prosperity.
His insistence on his reward in the face of his hesitation to participate in the killing of the princes leads to his loss of Richard's trust- and to his final destiny. - 12. The actor playing the role of Richard must have great strength to endure the demands of being on stage in so many different situations and for such a long time. But what of the character Richard? Could he have been the successful warrior he is credited with being in the past if he were seriously crippled? Could he have performed the physical demands required by the battle in the final scenes? If he is "unhorsed," surely he is capable of riding. And what about his rapid, sudden turns throughout the play? Review the physical action that must accompany so much of his dialogue and see if you think his deformity was as much a handicap as a convenient excuse. The judgment of Hastings is one place where he certainly exploits it, but see if you can find others.
- 13. From the beginning, Richard develops an intimate association with the audience as he shares his innermost thoughts. Couched as a sort of "confessional," he confides that he is going to behave wickedly. As such, he virtually invites the audience to come along with him as he proceeds with his business. Periodically, he reviews and recaptures that spirit.
Margaret, on the other hand, treats the audience as more of a witness than a partner. She speaks less in soliloquies than in choral recitations. Because so much of Margaret's presence is a symbolic as well as an actual reminder of past events, she is less involved in the action. Her power rests mainly in her ability to witness the past and predict the future. Those on stage may choose to ignore her, but those out front cannot.
- 14. Stanley walks a narrow line throughout the play. Although an easy answer might be that he never actually did anything to oppose Richard, wasn't his act of withholding support just as harmful? This is how Richard saw things when he ordered George Stanley to be beheaded. But can you accept Richard's judgment? Stanley, more than any other, represents the middle road, or at least a firm commitment to neutrality. Some may find his professed loyalty to Richard and secret meeting with Richmond enough to condemn him as a traitor.
Others may find him the victim of a conscience that allows him to make no open choice. Remember the Stanley who dreamed of impending disaster? Contrast him with the hasty, naive Hastings. TERM PAPER IDEAS AND OTHER TOPICS FOR WRITING - 1. Richard III has been called Shakespeare's first fully developed character in that we see many sides of his personality. Do any other characters in this play show more than one side? If so, who? And how? - 2.
What part do children play in Richard III? Are they believable? - 3. How important are clergymen, the archbishops, bishops, and priests in Richard III? Are they different from other members of the court? Discuss. - 4. Discuss the role of Buckingham. Is he better or worse, wiser or more foolish than Richard's other victims? - 5.
Revenge and the quest for justice dominate the action in Richard III. Discuss individual examples and their relevance to this major theme. - 6. Discuss the attitude toward adultery in Richard III. - 7.
How successful is the use of stychomythia, the short staccato dialogue used frequently by Richard and others? What effect does it create in the courtship scenes? - 8. Animal imagery is used repeatedly. What dramatic function does it fulfill? - 9. Discuss the importance of the scenes involving common people such as murderers, the scrivener, and the pursuivant? - 10. Richard is a brother, a husband, an uncle, and a son to various characters in the play.
Analyze his behavior in each case. - 11. We often hear the lamentations of mothers in Richard III, but there are fathers in the play too. Discuss their relationships to their children. - 12.
One objective of Richard III is to conclude the events set in motion by the first usurpation, the overthrow of Richard II. Do you feel this play explains and wraps it all up successfully? - 13. Compare your own knowledge of the historic Richard with Shakespeare's Richard. What obvious changes in history did Shakespeare make? Why did he do so? - 14. Corrupt governments can be found in all historical periods. Compare the corrupt administration of either Richard III or Edward IV with a 20th-century example.
- 15. Although political executions take place throughout Richard III, there is some concern for due process. Cite various examples and discuss their significance to the play as a whole. THE CRITICS - ON RICHARD'S CHARACTER If Richard is something like the Renaissance will incarnate, he is equally, in his total, eager submission to it, evil incarnate. Whatever his lusty attractiveness, we cannot deny that he treats all men, even himself finally, as mere objects. Too late he discovers, to his amazement and confusion, that he too has feelings, is subjective and subjected, in more than will and conscious self-control.
Herein lies his ...
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