• Writing Woodstock: The Prehistory of Richard II and Shakespeare’s Dramatic Method

    Author(s):
    Bradley Irish (see profile)
    Date:
    2013
    Group(s):
    LLC 16th-Century English, LLC Shakespeare
    Subject(s):
    Shakespeare, Renaissance drama
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Richard II, Source Study, Thomas of Woodstock
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M60Z7F
    Abstract:
    In Shakespeare’s Richard II, the dramatic function of Thomas of Woodstock (King Richard’s murdered uncle) has long been a source of contention and confusion. This essay argues that Woodstock’s role in the play cannot be understood without reference to Richard II’s “prehistory”: the complex series of political circumstances and events that predates the action of Shakespeare’s play. Though unstaged in Richard II, this antecedent history crucially shapes the opening acts of the play --and the consideration of this broader historical landscape elucidates many of its puzzling early moments. The prehistory of Woodstock’s death offers an important new context for Richard II’s opening movement, just as it freshly illuminates Shakespeare’s broader compositional strategy in the play.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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