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|Title:||Mirrors of Christian Kings: Ideology, Theology, Role-Playing: The Renaissance King and Shakespeare|
|Authors:||Del, Vecchio A. Doreen|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis presents the results of an extensive investigation into the primary materials which were instrumental in defining the theological basis of the nature of kingship as it was perceived in the Renaissance. Source materials include coronation rituals and records, theoretical writing by such writers as Erasmus and Elyot, sermons and polemical works of various kinds, and poems and treatises. These sources collectively confirm that there was an extensive ideology of the nature of kingship in religious terms, the key feature of which is that the king was regarded as a player of a variety of roles, especially roles which were based on divine attributes. This ideology in turn affects the representation of kings in shakespeare's history plays.</p> <p>The first four chapters of the thesis are devoted to presenting the background materials which collectively created this ideology, and to showing how in specific ways it informs Shakespeare's presentation of his kings as divine role-players. Each of the four chapters examines a particular facet of the role of kingship as it was understood in Renaissance theocentric politics, and in turn manifested in the theatre. Part two of the thesis devotes five chapters to exploring the ways in which Shakespeare used the theory of the Christology of kinship in the history plays. Henry VI is shown to be a king who was only partially aware of his roles, leaving room in the body politic for the ambitious to attempt the roles he was failing to fulfil. Richard III perverts the ideology by using the roles of king for entirely wicked ends: he is an anti-Christ role-player. In the second Henriad, the ways in which Hal grows into his royal roles is explored, leading to an analysis of how he performs them in Henry I. The most extensive use of the theologicaI ideology is found in Richard II, which really is a play about how the role of king is perceived. New evaluations of the plays can be thus made in light of the primary material presented in the first part of the thesis, and the evidence presented of Shakespeare's familiarity with the ideology of kingship here described.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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