A Source Paper for Shakespeare's Richard III to it's primary source - Essay Example

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Subject: July 07 2011 Richard III and the Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland Richard III is the last among the four plays by Shakespeare about the reign of Henry VI and the dramatization of the War of the Roses…
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A Source Paper for Shakespeares Richard III to its primary source
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, by making appropriate changes to suit the appeal of his play, he has made the audience enjoyed them immensely. He has written the play Richard III to glorify the reign of Queen Elizabeth and her grandfather Henry VII, who comes to power towards the end of the play. By projecting the villainous traits in the character of Richard and comparing him with the valiant qualities in Richmond, Shakespeare tries to signify Queen Elizabeth’s reign. In this particular era, the author also seems to have an intention to project the queen as highly glorious. Thus, if one analyzes the historical source for the play and attempts a comparison, he or she can find how the history is altered by the playwright. The main source Shakespeare relies on for crafting Richard III is Raphael Holinshed’s “Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland,” published during 1587. On the other hand, Holinshed’s account itself derives from The Union of the Two Noble Illustre Families of Lancastre and Yorke,” written by Edward Hall. While comparing the historical figure which appears in the chronicle by Holinshed and Shakespeare’s Richard III, one can easily identify many changes and modifications that Shakespeare has made. However, basically he depends on Holinshed’s work for the details of Richard’s decline and his final defeat at Bosworth, though he integrates several twists and turns in his story that renders it a better form as fiction so that it appeals to the masses. First among the main changes, which the author makes to achieve dramatic effect for his play, are the various alterations in the characteristic traits of these figures. Richard III, as the playwright has created is a Machiavellian character while Richard as he appears in the history is not as cunning as Shakespeare’s version. He opens his play with Richard’s soliloquy that begins with “And, therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,/To entertain these fair well-spoken days,/I am determined to prove a villain/And hate the idle pleasures of these days” (Shakespeare, Act 1 Scene 1). From this soliloquy, the physical deformity of the character becomes as apparent as the evilness of his mind. The historical Richard lives and rules under the shadows of his dead father as well as grandfather. He keeps peace with France and is a patron of arts, but he hardly has any military ambitions. After his brother King Edward IV dies in 1483, Richard is made the king instead of Edward’s son because of King Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth is considered illegal. “A publicity campaign was mounted condemning Edward’s marriage to the boy’s mother, Elizabeth Woodville, as invalid and their children illegitimate” (Shakespeare). Shakespeare is aware of the details of history, but he chooses to change it to suit the appeal of the plays he wrote. He often changes the time, combines the battles and characters in his play. Richard III’s plot is borrowed from Holinshed’s “Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland.” Richard is the last Yorkist king of England, whose death brings an end to the Wars of Roses. Richard’s brother, Edward, is Edward IV who makes Richard the Duke of Glouster. This is the plot which Shakespeare has borrowed for his play. But he remains more interested in the dramatics of the story than the historical facts. As presented in the play, the duration of Richard III is less than a month. But, historically it is between 1471 and 1485 and the play compresses these events while ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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