King Richard II | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by H. R. Coursen

This literature criticism consists of approximately 17 pages of analysis & critique of King Richard II.
This section contains 4,838 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by H. R. Coursen

SOURCE: Coursen, H. R. “Theories of History in Richard II.Upstart Crow 8 (1988): 42-53.

In the following essay, Coursen examines the competing views of history associated with Gaunt, Richard, and Bolingbroke in Richard II.

I do not believe that Shakespeare's history plays emerge from a theory of history, either providential or Marxist. A theory of history would tend to reduce the plays to thesis or allegory. The plays work their way out, to paraphrase Matthew Arnold, on darkling plains “where ignorant armies clash by night.” I will grant that Richmond's victory at Bosworth Field does signify an allegorical ending to decades of civil butchery, but that exception occurs, in Shakespeare's career, before his profound examination of the sources of the Wars of the Roses in the Second Henriad. If...

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This section contains 4,838 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by H. R. Coursen