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The Tragedy of King Richard II Day Two ENGL 305 Dr. Fike.

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Presentation on theme: "The Tragedy of King Richard II Day Two ENGL 305 Dr. Fike."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Tragedy of King Richard II Day Two ENGL 305 Dr. Fike

2 Writing Assignments Next time: Annotated bibliography due. Any questions?

3 Review Concepts: Tragedy involves a falling action, usually because of hamartia (error, mistake). Overemphasis on the “divine right of kings” is such an error. Various things distinguish tragedy from history: –Lessons about office and power. –Ambiguities—not clear who the hero is. –S/he may not participate in a climactic struggle. –A tragic historical segment is part of a greater sweep of comic salvation history. –No closure in a history play—open to time on both ends. Historical situation: –R2 was a boy king and therefore vulnerable. –Divine right and primogeniture are key concepts. –Shakespeare conflates two historical Edmund Mortimers so that the E. M. who is the brother of Hotspur’s wife in 1H4 is also the E. M. whom R2 has chosen to succeed him. –Essex’s rebellion: Staging our play may have quelled the uprising he had hoped that it would foment.

4 Video R minutes, 17 seconds

5 Group Activity 305%20R2%20Questions%20for%20Day%20Two.dochttp://faculty.winthrop.edu/fikem/Courses/ENGL%20305/ 305%20R2%20Questions%20for%20Day%20Two.doc Four groups, 15 minutes: –Group 1: Questions 1-4 –Group 2: Questions 5-8 –Group 3: Questions 9-12 –Group 4: Questions NOTE: IF YOU FINISH YOUR FOUR QUESTIONS, WORK ON OTHER QUESTIONS THAT INTEREST YOU.

6 Key Concept Re. Question 4: Doctrine of Passive Obedience Bevington’s introduction: –One must obey even a corrupt monarch because he is God’s representative on earth. –But one assumes that “God’s is the quarrel,” as Gaunt says (1.2.37). –Gaunt’s attitude justifies inaction: it’s a copout.

7 Question 10 Re. Political Theater From R2: – : “A woeful pageant have we here beheld.” –5.2.23: “As in a theater the eyes of men.... “ – : “Our scene is altered from a serious thing, / And now changed to ‘The Beggar and the king.’” –5.5.31: “Thus play I in one person many people....” From 2H4: : “For all my reign hath been but as a scene / Acting that argument.” Bedford 312ff.: “Queen Elizabeth…saw several of Shakespeare’s plays performed at court by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Her real passion, however, was the theater of politics.”

8 Re. Question 18: Three Views of Richard From John R. Elliott, Jr.’s “History and Tragedy in Richard II”: –Yorkist view: “while not denying Richard’s weaknesses, [it] saw Bolingbroke’s usurpation as a political crime committed for selfish motives rather than for the public good.” –Lancastrian view (House of Lancaster = Bolingbroke’s people): Richard is “an incompetent and corrupt ruler”; Bolingbroke is “the savior of England.” –“Richardian” view: Richard is “a saint and a blameless martyr intimidated, deposed, and murdered by an ambitious and unprincipled political.” R2 is comparable to Christ himself. POINT: All three views are present in R2.

9 Group Work on Passages for Next Time Do an analysis based on either: –The elements of critical thinking: context, point of view, question at issue, purpose, assumptions, concepts, information, implications and consequences, conclusions and interpretations, and alternatives. Or: –The TTCAQD method: title, theme, content, affect, question, discussion. Work in your assigned groups to analyze the following key passages for next time: 1.Gaunt’s speech: Richard’s attitude/opinions: Garden scene/video: Richard’s speech in the Tower: END


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