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Shakespeare + Richard III: Influencing History

A brief introduction to Shakespeare and the history behind Hamlet.
by

Ms. Bailey

on 22 September 2016

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Transcript of Shakespeare + Richard III: Influencing History

Shakespeare and Richard III: Influencing History
Birth
Although the exact date of Shakespeare's birth is unknown, the closest date hypothesized is April 23rd, 1564.
The room in which Shakespeare was born.
Studied at Stratford-upon-Avon's local grammar school, which was not far from his own home.
Shakespeare studied mainly Latin authors from the early age of only six or seven: this most likely accounts for his extensive and scholarly vocabulary.
Very little is known about Shakespeare's life during two major spans of time, commonly referred to as the "lost years": 1578-82 and 1585-92.
The first period covers the time after Shakespeare left grammar school until his marriage to Anne Hathaway in November of 1582.
The second period covers the seven years of Shakespeare's life in which he must have been perfecting his dramatic skills, collecting sources for the plots of his plays, and writing his plays.
The Mystery of "Anne"
Anne Whateley?
Anne Hathaway?
Different names in the marriage ledger
Birth records show that
Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway (...) was 26 when they
got married and already several months
pregnant.
A sketch of Anne Hathaway
Married wife, Anne Hathaway,
when she was 26 (he was 18)
and pregnant.
Three children
Susanna
Twins - Hamnet & Judith
Hamnet tragically died at age 11 in 1596 (perhaps from the Plague, but most likely some illness like pneumonia), an event which indubitably affected Shakespeare's writing.
Between 1589 and 1613, Shakespeare produced most of his best-known work. He was also noted as an accomplished actor in London between 1585 and 1589.
His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Here are a few of them....
Comedies
Histories
Tragedies
Tragicomedies (Romances)
Moving on to Richard III, as that is why we are here!
Shakespeare died on April 23rd, 1616 (notice anything familiar?)
He left Anne his "second best bed" - an insult or a tender farewell?
The actual King Richard III was born in 1452 and died in 1485 (in battle).
The play was most likely written around 1592.
Originally printed in 1597 (for reference: several years before Hamlet).
Shakespeare's sources for Richard III
Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (2nd edition, 1587)
Holinshed's account, written in 1577, is itself taken from The Union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, written in 1550 by Edward Hall.
Hall's version is based on yet another text, the History of King Richard the Thirde, published in 1513 by Sir Thomas More.
(Why am I showing you ALL of these?)

Shakespeare took the villainous angle based mainly on More's account.
Over the centuries, there have been many disputes regarding Shakespeare's depiction of the king. Historians argued that he was not the deformed villain that Shakespeare purported him to be, and questions were raised about whether the Tudors spread lies about the extent of his villainy as propaganda to support their own reigns.
...and then, in a parking lot in England, on February 4th, 2013...
Criticism
Bones revealed that Richard III WAS, indeed, hunchbacked, due to a nasty case of scoliosis!
Disputes over reburial have reignited the War of the Roses: Shakespeare's play cited in court cases to determine who "owns" his bones.
New articles and findings are being published EVERY DAY!
Since 1924, the Richard III Society has attempted to educate people on what it says is a "truer memory of the king as a fair and decent ruler", who brought in special courts to hear the grievances of the poor. Since the discovery of his bones, the society's membership has grown by nearly half, and it now hosts 4,000 members across the world.
We will investigate, along with the rest of the world, the new findings as we read Shakespeare's account.
Citations:
Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966.
Evans Lloyd Gareth. Shakespeare IV. London: Oxford university Press, 1967.
Granville-Barker, Henry. Prefaces to Shakespeare. New York: Hill and Wang, 1970.
Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare's Sources for Hamlet. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sources/hamletsources.html >.
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2013/0927/Richard-III-a-maligned-king-s-reburial-becomes-a-sordid-affair

But shall we wear these glories for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them? (4.2.6-7)
-Defining quote of Richard III's reign

Globe Theatre built in 1598
Patronized by Queen Elizabeth I, then King James I
Who do YOU see in this portrait?
Full transcript