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Comparing Two Plays Edward II by Christopher Marlowe and Richard II by William Shakespeare - Literature review Example

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The paper "Comparing Two Plays Edward II by Christopher Marlowe and Richard II by William Shakespeare" states that Shakespeare has borrowed many images and dramatic touches from Marlowe,  but he has given the idea of deposing a king a much more sophisticated and ironic twist…
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Comparing Two Plays Edward II by Christopher Marlowe and Richard II by William Shakespeare
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Download file to see previous pages The paper examines the deposition scene in the two plays to draw out each king’s relationship to kingship, his use of language, his mental state, his deployment of the Passion narrative, and his use of the crown as a prop. Following this analysis of the two kings, there is a discussion of the theatrical techniques the authors use to highlight the main issues at stake, for example, the setting and role of the other characters in the deposition scene and the way that the drama unfolds on the stage. Finally, the similarities and differences between Shakespeare and Marlowe are explained, leading to the conclusion that Shakespeare has borrowed some aspects from Marlowe but at the same time he has pushed Marlowe’s art in a number of new directions.
In the deposition scene (Act V, Scene i) Marlowe’s King Edward II makes it very clear that he sees himself as belonging to a category that is very different from ordinary citizens: “The griefs of private men are soon allayed;/ But not of Kings” (Marlowe, lines 8-9). In order to illustrate the different elements in the social hierarchy, Edward uses animal imagery. The people are like “the forest deer” (Marlowe, line 9), while he describes himself as “the imperial lion” (Marlowe, line 11). The usurper Mortimer is compared to “a tiger’s jaws” (Marlowe, line 118) and the alliance between the people is symbolized in the phrase “Inhuman creatures, nursed with tiger’s milk” (Marlowe, line 72). This imagery depicts the political power of the new king and his entourage as something dangerous like a tiger. His own power is also dangerous, but the symbolism of the lion is that of a ruler. This rests on Biblical language which links the lion with godly ruling families.
In Shakespeare’s deposition scene (Act IV, Scene i) the king also assumes an entirely different and superior status, but his approach is much more sophisticated. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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