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A Stage Violence Analysis of the Battle of Bosworth Field - Essay Example

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Name Name of Professor A Stage Violence Analysis of the Battle of Bosworth Field The Battle of Bosworth Field was the ultimate major battle in the Wars of the Roses, wrestled between the House of York and the House of Lancaster…
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A Stage Violence Analysis of the Battle of Bosworth Field
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Download file to see previous pages The storytellers of the Battle of Bosworth look as if they are sketching a vivid image of evildoing inflicting ‘upon itself, out of itself’ (Shakespeare 1786, 26). The battle scenes were remarkable for their splendor and their paradox. Rather than executing the usual sword fights, Shakespeare’s period combat situated two armed forces on the stage. The ultimate battle was rid of any traces of heroic splendor. It started with a massive spell of movement, of cautiously organized turmoil as the two armed forces mobilized. Without a doubt, Bosworth is depicted with a somewhat brilliant detail. The mobilization of the two armies commanded by competing rulers, the putting up of the two gazebos, the string of apparitions with their messages from Richard to Richmond, and ultimately the opposite dialogues with the armies, set out a grand structure of stage proportions to emphasize the implications of the impending battle. Prior to Bosworth the rival sides are those of righteousness against wickedness, the burden of growing remorse, placed on the shoulders of Richard by his victims’ specters, turning Richmond to a righteous protector. Richard, in his rousing command to his army, struggles quite deliberately and fruitlessly to convey the anti-French prejudiced message (Shakespeare 1786, 152): Let’s whip these stragglers o’er the seas again; Lash hence these overweening rags of France. The tactic of Richard at this point can be viewed as the bare mass-provoking strategy. Even though it is certain that the Elizabethan performers playing the characters of Richmond and Richard may have been depended on for a realistic scene of sword fight, and the clear melodic echo of siren and defeat would have endowed this with its own theatrical elements, the depiction of the Battle of Bosworth is typical of the war tragedy of Shakespeare in the uneven measure of space and time allocated to dialogues and dramatics rather than combat (Meron 2000, 190-191). Act V has the grandest stage scenes, specifically in the Battle of Bosworth Field. Both Richmond and Richard were shown organizing their troops, and almost immediately afterward Richard is troubled and Richmond is favored by the specters. In his address to his army Richmond attacks the King as a “bloody tyrant and a homicide” (Meron 2000, 191). On the other hand, Richmond highlighted the imminent violent downfall of Richard (Shakespeare 1863, 568): The weary sun hath made a golden set, And by the bright tract of his fiery car Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow. But Richard keeps on preparing for a violent encounter. He dispatches Catesby to inform Stanley that if he refuses to unite with the forces of Richard, his son will be killed. However, although his commanders Surrey and Northumberland are trying to motivate their army, Richard himself is becoming increasingly disheartened: “I have not that alacrity of spirit Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have” (Shakespeare 1813, 556). He pointed out that the day of the Battle of Bosworth will be “A black day to somebody” (Shakespeare 1843(a), 122), but not knowing that it would be his. In the Battle of Bosworth, Richard’s appeal to his army is quite undignified. He lays blame on weak and unsuccessful men, and his apparition of his people and his country is strangely violent. It is notable as well that Richard brings up children and wives, though from another point of view: “Shall these enjoy our lands? Lie with our wives? Ravish our ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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