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Research paper topic: 13 Were The Elizabethans More Bloodthirsty Or Tolerant Of - 1210 words
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.. repulsiveness. His is a Dionysianism so passionately self-serving, so deliberate if not cold-blooded, that, corrosive rather than life-giving like the Dionysian at its best, it turns all not only to destruction but to cheapness, ignominy, pointlessness. -Theodore Weiss, The Breath of Clowns and Kings, 1974 - The great stories of murder are about men who could not have done it but who did. They are not murderers, they are men.
And their stories will be better still when they are excellent men; not merely brilliant and admirable, but also, in portions of themselves which we infer rather than see. Richard is never quite human enough. The spectacle over which he presides with his bent back and his forked tongue can take us by storm, and it does. It cannot move our innermost minds with the conviction that in such a hero's death the world has lost what once had been or might have been the most precious part of itself. Richard is never precious as a man. He is only stunning in his craft, a serpent whose movements we follow for their own sake, because in themselves they have strength and beauty.
-Mark Van Doren, Shakespeare, 1939 - ON RICHMOND'S FUNCTION The astonishing thing about this play is that until almost the end, there is no sign of a possible antagonist, no visible secular force that can bring the tyrant down. Richmond is not even mentioned until Act IV, and appears in only the last three scenes. He is little more than a deus ex machina let down from above to provide a resolution both for the immediate action of this play and for the long-continued drama of conflict between York and Lancaster. -George J. Becker, Shakespeare's Histories, 1977 - RICHARD III AS TRAGEDY Thus Shakespeare pictured the dominating sins in the play as perjury and murder, sins against the moral order.
He portrayed and analyzed the passion of ambition that caused Richard to sin and the passion of fear that at the same time punished him for his sins and forced him to wade still further in blood. He inserted non-historical scenes developing the Elizabethan philosophy of revenge. He used the supernatural to enhance the horror of the play and to contribute to the impression of a divine vengeance meting out punishment for sin. He showed God's revenge exacted through the agency of the evil Richard, who was nevertheless to be held to account for his evil-doing. He made use of the pathos of the death of the royal children.
These are the common methods of Shakespearean tragedy, and they justify those who hold Richard III to be a tragedy. -Lily B. Campbell, Shakespeare's "Histories:" Mirrors of Elizabethan Policy, 1968. - COMEDY IN RICHARD III Richard's sense of humor, his function as clown, his comic irreverences and sarcastic or sardonic appropriations of things to (at any rate) his occasions: all those act as underminers of our assumed naive and proper Tudor principles; and we are on his side much rather because he makes us (as the Second Murderer put it) "take the devil in [our] mind," than for any "historical-philosophical-Christian-retributional" sort of motive. In this respect a good third of the play is a kind of grisly comedy; in which we meet the fools to be taken in on Richard's terms, see them with his mind, and rejoice with him in their stultification (in which execution is the ultimate and unanswerable practical joke, the absolutely final laugh this side of the Day of Judgment).
-A. P. Rossiter, "Angel With Horns: The Unity of Richard III," in Shakespeare, The Histories, ed. Eugene M. Waith, 1965 ADVISORY BOARD - We wish to thank the following educators who helped us focus our Book Notes series to meet student needs and critiqued our manuscripts to provide quality materials.
- Sandra Dunn, English Teacher Hempstead High School, Hempstead, New York - Lawrence J. Epstein, Associate Professor of English Suffolk County Community College, Selden, New York - Leonard Gardner, Lecturer, English Department State University of New York at Stony Brook - Beverly A. Haley, Member, Advisory Committee National Council of Teachers of English Student Guide Series Fort Morgan, Colorado - Elaine C. Johnson, English Teacher Tamalpais Union High School District Mill Valley, California - Marvin J. LaHood, Professor of English State University of New York College at Buffalo - Robert Lecker, Associate Professor of English McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada - David E. Manly, Professor of Educational Studies State University of New York College at Geneseo - Bruce Miller, Associate Professor of Education State University of New York at Buffalo - Frank O'Hare, Professor of English and Director of Writing Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio - Faith Z. Schullstrom, Member, Executive Committee National Council of Teachers of English Director of Curriculum and Instruction Guilderland Central School District, New York - Mattie C.
Williams, Director, Bureau of Language Arts Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, Illinois - - BIBLIOGRAPHY FURTHER READING - HISTORICAL BACKGROUND - Fraser, Antonia, ed. The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980. Covers the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III. - Saccio, Peter. Shakespeare's English Kings.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. - Seward, Desmond. Richard III, England's Black Legend. New York: Franklin Watts, 1984. A strong argument for the traditional view of Richard as the evil murderer and usurper.
- CRITICAL WORKS - Becker, George J. Shakespeare's Histories. New York: Unger, 1977. A review of the ten history plays and their common themes. - Blankpied, John W.
Time and the Artist in Shakespeare's Early Histories. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1983. - Campbell, Lily B. Shakespeare's "Histories:" Mirrors of Elizabethan Policy. San Marino, California: The Huntington Library, 1968. Detailed review of topical themes. - Rossiter, A.
P. "Angel With Horns: The Unity of Richard III," in Shakespeare, The Histories, ed. Eugene M. Waith. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1965. - Tillyard, E.
M. W. Shakespeare's History Plays. London: Chatto & Windus, 1964. A study of the underlying principles found in Shakespeare's history plays with emphasis on their origins. - Weiss, Theodore.
The Breath of Clowns and Kings. New York: Atheneum, 1974. The use of language in Shakespeare's early comedies and history plays. - Van Doren, Mark. Shakespeare. New York: Henry Holt, 1939.
- AUTHOR'S WORKS - Shakespeare wrote 37 plays (38 if you include The Two Noble Kinsmen) over a 20-year period, from about 1590 to 1610. It's difficult to determine the exact dates when many were written, but scholars have made the following intelligent guesses about his plays and poems: - PLAYS - 1588-93 The Comedy of Errors 1588-94 Love's Labour's Lost 1590-91 2 Henry VI 1590-91 3 Henry VI 1591-92 1 Henry VI 1592-93 Richard III 1592-94 Titus Andronicus 1593-94 The Taming of the Shrew 1593-95 The Two Gentlemen of Verona 1594-96 Romeo and Juliet 1595 Richard II 1594-96 A Midsummer Night's Dream 1596-97 King John 1596-97 The Merchant of Venice 1597 1 Henry IV 1597-98 2 Henry IV 1598-1600 Much Ado About Nothing 1598-99 Henry V 1599 Julius Caesar 1599-1600 As You Like It 1599-1600 Twelfth Night 1600-01 Hamlet 1597-1601 The Merry Wives of Windsor 1601-02 Troilus and Cressida 1602-04 All's Well That Ends Well 1603-04 Othello 1604 Measure for Measure 1605-06 King Lear 1605-06 Macbeth 1606-07 Antony and Cleopatra 1605-08 Timon of Athens 1607-09 Coriolanus 1608-09 Pericles 1609-10 Cymbeline 1610-11 The Winter's Tale 1611-12 The Tempest 1612-13 Henry VIII.
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