Glorifying the Tudor Dynasty: Shakespeare’s Richard III and the Perfect Villain.

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The reign of Queen Elizabeth I was one of prosperous activity for the arts in England. This period is known as the “Golden Age” and English nationalism gained momentum, as evidently shown through writers creating their works in the English language. Furthermore, the Queen had a passion for the arts, and thus encouraged and patronized activities such as the creation of theaters. Overall, London became a cultural center and in which the arts flourished under the Queen. Playwrights ,such as William Shakespeare, were enthusiastic about this embrace of the arts and were encouraged to depict characteristics of Elizabethan society. Consequently, influences from the main cultural center encouraged and shaped plays such as Richard III. Historical influences are evident through Shakespeare’s plot, character of Richard III and the challenging of gender stereotypes, which result in the glorification of the Tudor dynasty. Firstly, Niccolo Machiavelli ‘s influences on England during the Elizabethan Era transmit in the plot of the play. Machiavelli published Il Principe and established guidelines on how a prince could get and secure power (“The Influence of Machiavelli on Shakespeare”). This can be seen in the first scenes of the play, when Richard outlines his plans that will lead him to the throne. The character exclaims, “Plots I have laid, inductions dangerous, by drunken prophecies, libels and dreams” (Act 1). Shakespeare’s main point is that Richard III will do anything in his power to get what he wants. This characterization is tied to Machiavelli’s influence in Elizabethan era because his writings encouraged the quest and obtaining of power. While Machiavelli introduced new political ideas during this era, Shakespeare adapted his tenants... ... middle of paper ... ...e rising of the Queen brings to England overall is well embedded in the play. Shakespeare creates a play of this time through the plot, the characters and the overall conflicts of the play. Although the events taking place in London are not the main focus of the play, Shakespeare manages to include the impacts through his characters. While embedding historical events in his plot, Shakespeare manages to legitimize the rule of the reining dynasty. Works Cited Preis, Dorothea. "Richard III Society of NSW." Richard III Society of NSW RSS. HSC History Extension, 7 Nov. 2012. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. Shapiro, Susan. "Feminists in Elizabethan England." History Today. History Today, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. "Study Tools." Study Tools. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. "The Richard III Society." Richard III Society of NSW RSS. HRH The Duke of Clougester, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

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