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Get Shakespeare: The Elizabethan Plays PDF

By Susan Bassnett (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333438507

ISBN-13: 9780333438503

ISBN-10: 1349229962

ISBN-13: 9781349229963

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Additional info for Shakespeare: The Elizabethan Plays

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83-9) In his rebirth or awakening process, Richard is now aware of the pattern of the world around him. It has often been pointed out that the play is full of symbolic images of rising and falling, and the pageant quality of much of the action is reflected in the rituals of bowing, kneeling, ascending and descending thrones that run throughout the play. Along with standard Renaissance images of the sun that is eclipsed, the wheel of fortune and the scales, are other more familiar metaphors. Bolingbroke ascends the ladder of ambition to the throne, plants in the garden droop and leaves fall, and in the very moment when Richard should hand the crown to Bolingbroke, he clings on to it and compares himself and the future king to buckets in a well: Give me the crown.

V. 86-8) Lady Gray, now Queen Elizabeth, has no power whatsoever outside the boudoir. Her task is to produce sons for her husband, and the most she can do is to procure preferment at court for members of her own family. The age of warrior maidens and queens has very definitely ended, and it is the Machiavellian Richard who will rise to control all those around him. The fourth play in the cycle that spans the Wars of the Roses is Richard Ill, one of the most popular of Shakespeare's plays, of which there were no less than six quartos before it was included in the Folio of 1623.

The emperor kills Titus and is then killed in tum by Titus's surviving son, Lucius. The atrocities are completed by the brutal execution of Aaron that is proposed by Lucius. Later, with Lear's madness, the blinding of Gloucester and Iago's unrepentant end after bringing about the destruction of Othello and Desdemona, Shakespeare was to return to some of the elements already present in Titus Andronicus, but with one major difference - an absence of the black comedy. Yet it is the presence of the comic elements that makes Titus Andronicus in some respects a very modem play, in the sense that it can be read by contemporary audiences and accepted by them in ways that were not open to earlier audiences.

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Shakespeare: The Elizabethan Plays by Susan Bassnett (auth.)

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