King Richard III | Critical Essay by Phyllis Rackin

This literature criticism consists of approximately 32 pages of analysis & critique of King Richard III.
This section contains 9,422 words
(approx. 32 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Phyllis Rackin

Critical Essay by Phyllis Rackin

SOURCE: “History into Tragedy: The Case of Richard III,” in Shakespearean Tragedy and Gender, edited by Shirley Nelson Garner and Madelon Sprengnether, Indiana University Press, 1996, pp. 31-53.

In the following essay, Rackin identifies the ways in which the women's roles in Richard III differed from those in his earlier historical plays, arguing that the disempowering of female characters seen in Richard III is related to Shakespeare's movement away from history towards tragedy.

An audience coming to Richard III from the Henry VI plays and King John witnesses a remarkable transformation in the roles and representations of female characters. On the one hand, women are much more sympathetically portrayed. They take on their tragic roles as suffering victims and assume their tragic status as central objects of male concern. On the other hand, they lose the vividly...

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This section contains 9,422 words
(approx. 32 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Phyllis Rackin