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Memorial University - Electronic Theses and Dissertations 2
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Document Description
TitleThe importance of the political element in William Shakespeare's Richard II
AuthorFraser, R. Scott
DescriptionThesis (M.A.)--Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1986. English Language and Literature
Pagination128 leaves.
SubjectShakespeare, William, 1564-1616
Degree GrantorMemorial University of Newfoundland. Dept. of English Language and Literature
DisciplineEnglish Language and Literature
NotesBibliography: leaves [120]-128.
AbstractThroughout the twentieth century, literary critics have largely undervalued the political element inherent in William Shakespeare's Richard II, preferring instead to emphasize its tragic qualities. However, upon close analysis of the text and the period in which it was written one finds that the play's printed and performed popularity owed much to its political content. -- With an analogy existing between Queen Elizabeth I and Richard II, writing on the subject of the latter monarch's reign was both a daring and dangerous thing to do in the last decade of the sixteenth century. Yet, Shakespeare was able to write his play with a great deal of current political commentary and political theorizing without any extensive repercussion - even after his play was performed on the eve of the Essex Rebellion in 1601. This contrasts starkly with the fate of Dr. John Hayward, who was imprisoned in 1599 until after the death of Elizabeth for employing the analogy to comment on the politics of the day in his prose history Henry IIII. -- It is the assertion herein that Shakespeare was able to do so because he carefully balanced his play between tragedy and political theory - a balance permitting Richard II to operate as a cautionary tale within the area of functional ambiguity.
Resource TypeElectronic thesis or dissertation
FormatImage/jpeg; Application/pdf
SourcePaper copy kept in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University Libraries
Local Identifier75370958
RightsThe author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
CollectionElectronic Theses and Dissertations
Scanning StatusCompleted
PDF File(19.13 MB) --
CONTENTdm file name77867.cpd