"I am left out": a study of selected clerical characters in Shakespeare's history plays

Boyd-Williams, Anthony Robert (2003). "I am left out": a study of selected clerical characters in Shakespeare's history plays. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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This thesis discusses some of the clerics who feature in Shakespeare's Histories. The introduction suggests that such characters, either individually or as a group, have by and large been ignored when Shakespeare's characters are considered for serious and sustained discussion in academic or theatrical circles and argues that this should now be readdressed. The following four chapters each consider a particular cleric or clerics. The characters under scrutiny are the Bishop of Winchester in The First Part of King Henry VI and The Second Part of King Henry VI, the Bishop of Carlisle in Richard II, Cardinal Pandulph in King John, concluding with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely in Henry V. Each chapter commences with an account of the original historical personage as consideration is being given to figures who originated as actual human beings, and there is an exploration in each of the process of creation of the characters right back to their ultimate beginnings (and via Shakespeare's immediate sources, the Tudor historians). The chapters will subsequently show how such source material was adapted, and examine the scenes in which the clerics appear. The varying and irregular comments of critics throughout the centuries are also discussed in order to illustrate how the dramatic strengths of these characters and their speeches have been appreciated by some. Each chapter concludes with a detailed examination and evaluation of each cleric in performance, and uses three interpretations to underline their dramatic
potential and authority.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4434


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