King Richard II | Critical Essay by Dermot Cavanagh

This literature criticism consists of approximately 37 pages of analysis & critique of King Richard II.
This section contains 10,991 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Dermot Cavanagh

Critical Essay by Dermot Cavanagh

SOURCE: “The Language of Treason in Richard II,” in Shakespeare Studies, Vol. 27, 1999, pp. 134-60.

In the following essay, Cavanagh observes that the topic of treachery plays a central role in the political exchanges in Richard II. Cavanagh explores the way the language associated with treachery is related to the dynamics of authority in the play.

I

Postwar criticism of Richard II characteristically has addressed its portrayal of “the secularization of politics … paralleled by the commercialization of the word.”1 The play is often perceived as describing the transition from a medieval political ethos to early modern conditions. In depicting the violent extinction of Plantagenet monarchy, Richard II also distinguishes the ascendancy of Lancastrian pragmatism, setting a “divinely sanctioned monarch against Machiavellian ‘new man’ whose power resides exclusively in...

(read more)

This section contains 10,991 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Dermot Cavanagh