• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the relationship between Richard II and its source 'How kyng Richarde the seconde....'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

AA306 - TMA 02 Discuss the relationship between Richard II and its source 'How kyng Richarde the seconde....' (Reader, pp. 6-9). The relationship between Richard II and The Myrroure for Magistrates is considered here predominantly in the context of the differences between the two texts.1 The function of each text is discussed initially, the didactic purpose of the Myrroure contrasted with the function of Shakespeare's play as, primarily, theatrical entertainment. The conflicting accounts of certain events from Richard's reign are looked at subsequently and the manner in which they reflect the different function of the texts. Finally, consideration is given to the different way in which the Myrroure and Richard II each reflect upon the theme of kingship through their portrayal of Richard's reign. In relation to each of these points of discussion, it is argued that Richard II delivers a more complex, multi-dimensional portrayal of character, events and themes than the Myrroure. The Myrroure is imbued with moral didacticism and Richard II's reign is employed to encourage rulers to govern virtuously and lawfully. Rulers must abide by 'right' and 'lawe' (l. 32), observe 'faythful counsayle' (ll. 35) and beware 'false Flatterers' (l. 33). Richard, however, is portrayed as a king who 'ruled all by lust' (l.31), 'passing not a straw' (l. ...read more.

Middle

An example is the description of Worcester's abandonment of Richard in the Myrroure, when he 'did... / Bebreake his staff, my houselhold stay/Bad eche man shifte and rode him selfe away' (ll.75-77) while in Richard II Bushy informs the Queen that 'Worcester / Hath broke his staff, resigned his stewardship / And all the household servants fled with him' (2.2.58-60). In the Myrroure, Richard describes how he surrounded himself with 'false Flatterers' (l.33) and 'gaping Gulles' (l.52), an aspect of Richard's rule highlighted in Richard II; Gaunt declares to the king that 'A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown' (2.1.100). Similarities extend to the use of imagery, Richard acknowledging in the Myrroure that 'Three meals a day could scarce content my mawe' (l.39), Gaunt declaring the danger of such avarice, for 'With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder' (2.1.37). However, Richard II and the Myrroure also differ in the presentation of events, particularly those relating to Richard's deposition. The Myrroure treats Richard's actual fall from power in cursory fashion, Richard complaining that 'Henryes pride / Dyd cause me yeld him up my crowne and throne.' (ll.85-6). Shakespeare, by contrast, presents the events leading up to Henry's deposition as more complex, contrasting Richard's apparent resignation of power with the suggestion that he struggles to do so. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet Shakespeare also undermines this argument. Gaunt, one of the principal advocates of automatic allegiance to the king, dies abusing him roundly. As the king's position appears increasingly tenuous, York declares his neutrality and subsequently manages to justify Richard's deposition as the will of heaven, in doing so making the notion of an anointed king meaningless for it argues that an attempt to remove a king is the will of heaven if successful, treason if not: But heaven hath a hand in these events, To whose high will we bend our calm contents. To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now. (5.2.37-39) Conversely, and finally, the fact that Richard appears to voluntarily rescind can suggest that his deposition is indeed the will of heaven, his actions being God's will exercised through him. The two-dimensional approach to the theme of kingship contributes to the complexity of Richard II and it is this complexity which differentiates it from the Myrroure. The principal function of the latter is as a didactic text, its one-dimensional portrayal of character, historical events and the nature of kingship contributing to its didacticism. Richard II, in contrast, employs the same tools to provide for theatrical entertainment and also possibly reflects Shakespeare's ambiguous stance towards the events of Richard's reign, his person, and contemporary debates regarding the extent of a monarch's power. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Does Alexander II deserve the title of 'Tsar liberator'?

    be unfairly given on the basis of the effects of emancipation as it itself did little. As would have been expected however, there were more lateral impacts of the emancipation reform which contributed to an eventual overhaul of Russian society.

  2. Henry II (1154 - 1189) is generally seen as the main catalyst in the ...

    Mayr-Harting and R.I. Moore ed..1985) pp.219-232 54 Hunter S Medieval England 1066-1399-Seminar Programmes Henry II p6,http://wwworb.rhodes.edu/Wales/H3H03/h3h03r02.htm [visited 24/11/2002 55 Henry II: British Monarchs pages 1-3 http://www.britanna.com/histry/monarchs/mon26.html [Visited 6/1/2003Ibid] 56 Stubbs W , ed Select Charters of English Constitutional History, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913)

  1. Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of women in Richard III. Are they convincing characters?

    After being told by Margaret that 'Thy woes will make [her words] sharp, and pierce like mine,' Elizabeth's cursing ability is reflected in her conversation with Richard. Almost immediately, Elizabeth simply says to Richard: 'I have no more sons of the royal blood For thee to slaughter.

  2. What kind of king does Shakespeare create in Act 3 Scenes 1 and 2? ...

    Although some may say that the actions of Nym, Bardolph and Pistol are to question Henry's qualities as king, it is more likely that they are a direct ploy by Shakespeare to contradict their characters in comparison to Henry's which will consequently complement Henry's character more.

  1. How do the poets in 'Charlotte O'Neils song' and 'Nothing Changed' show their feelings ...

    Hope this helps. Submitted by: David Tutty, (Age 16) English > Q. How do the poets in 'Charlotte O'Neils song' and 'Nothing Changed' show their feelings about prejudice and inequality ? In 'Charlotte O'Neil's Song' the poet describes all the differences in lifestyle between the rich and the servants.

  2. Report on The linkage of 2010 item and the two historical periods

    The Renaissance was a time of growing knowledge for the poor by applying information to everyone-no matter you are poor or not, which basically have a same idea of Wikipedia -a free place for people to share their thoughts and information.

  1. The changing position of women and the suffrage question. Revision notes

    * In 1866, Disraeli said ?I do not see on what reasons she had not a right to vote.? But in 1867, when John Stuart Mill proposed an amendment to the 1867 Reform Bill, Disraeli gave him no support. * In 1881 Lord Sailsbury stated ?The day is not far

  2. Wives & War: To what extent did these two aspects undermine Henry VIIIs rule ...

    military glory? in France while wielding not as much force upon Scotland in the north, it seems that maybe Henry grew concerned for his lack of military expeditions which glorified so much of previous English kings. By the year 1540 came about England?s position in Europe and its foreign policy

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work