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Free Will and Fatalism
The Last Days of Richard III contains a new and uniquely detailed exploration of Richard’s last 150 days. By deliberately avoiding the hindsight knowledge that he will lose the Battle of Bosworth Field, we discover a new Richard: no passive victim, awaiting defeat and death, but a king actively pursuing his. As a result of this debate within himself, Richard must ﬁnally accept his terrible fate, for no one will mourn his death and he will leave behind a regrettable chronicle of his reign. The justice and 56 Richard III retribution that Margaret and his victims have devoutly wished for all along are about to be realized. Buy The Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of his DNA: The Book that Inspired the Dig Illustrated by Ashdown-Hill (ISBN: 056) from Amazon's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. The Last Days + Burial + DNA Research Regarding, April 19, 2011. This book is all three of the above. The last days parts cover the events, the daily life and the political situation of Richard III at the end of his life. A third of the text covers the burial, aftermath and a discussion of DNA.
One of the central themes of Richard III is the idea of fate, especially as it is seen through the tension between free will and fatalism in Richard's actions and speech, as well as the reactions to him by other characters. There is no doubt that Shakespeare drew heavily on Sir Thomas More's account of Richard III as a criminal and tyrant as inspiration for his own rendering. This influence, especially as it relates to the role of divine punishment in Richard's rule of England, reaches its height in the voice of Margaret. Janis Lull suggests that 'Margaret gives voice to the belief, encouraged by the growing Calvinism of the Elizabethan era, that individual historical events are determined by God, who often punishes evil with (apparent) evil'.
Thus it seems possible that Shakespeare, in conforming to the growing 'Tudor Myth' of the day, as well as taking into account new theologies of divine action and human will becoming popular in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, sought to paint Richard as the final curse of God on England in punishment for the deposition of Richard II in 1399. Irving Ribner argued that 'the evil path of Richard is a cleansing operation which roots evil out of society and restores the world at last to the God-ordained goodness embodied in the new rule of Henry VII'.
Marxist scholar Victor Kiernan writes that this interpretation is a perfect fit with the English social perspective of Shakespeare's day: 'An extension is in progress of a privileged class's assurance of preferential treatment in the next world as in this, to a favoured nation's conviction of having God on its side, of Englishmen being ... the new Chosen People'. As Elizabethan England was slowly colonising the world, the populace embraced the view of its own Divine Right and Appointment to do so, much as Richard does in Shakespeare's play.
However, historical fatalism is merely one side of the argument of fate versus free will. It is also possible that Shakespeare intended to portray Richard as '... a personification of the Machiavellian view of history as power politics'. In this view, Richard is acting entirely out of his own free will in brutally taking hold of the English throne. Kiernan also presents this side of the coin, noting that Richard 'boasts to us of his finesse in dissembling and deception with bits of Scripture to cloak his 'naked villainy' (I.iii.334–8)...Machiavelli, as Shakespeare may want us to realise, is not a safe guide to practical politics'.
Kiernan suggests that Richard is merely acting as if God is determining his every step in a sort of Machiavellian manipulation of religion as an attempt to circumvent the moral conscience of those around him. Therefore, historical determinism is merely an illusion perpetrated by Richard's assertion of his own free will. The Machiavellian reading of the play finds evidence in Richard's interactions with the audience, as when he mentions that he is 'determinèd to prove a villain' (I.i.30). However, though it seems Richard views himself as completely in control, Lull suggests that Shakespeare is using Richard to state 'the tragic conception of the play in a joke. His primary meaning is that he controls his own destiny. His pun also has a second, contradictory meaning—that his villainy is predestined—and the strong providentialism of the play ultimately endorses this meaning'.
Literary critic Paul Haeffner writes that Shakespeare had a great understanding of language and the potential of every word he used. One word that Shakespeare gave potential to was 'joy'. This is employed in Act I, Scene III, where it is used to show 'deliberate emotional effect'. Another word that Haeffner points out is 'kind', which he suggests is used with two different definitions.
The first definition is used to express a 'gentle and loving' being, which Clarence uses to describe his brother Richard to the murderers that were sent to kill him. This definition is not true, as Richard uses a gentle facade to seize the throne. The second definition concerns 'the person's true nature ... Richard will indeed use Hastings kindly—that is, just as he is in the habit of using people—brutally'.
Haeffner also writes about how speech is written. He compares the speeches of Richmond and Richard to their soldiers. He describes Richmond's speech as 'dignified' and formal, while Richard's speech is explained as 'slangy and impetuous'. Richard's casualness in speech is also noted by another writer. However, Lull does not make the comparison between Richmond and Richard as Haeffner does, but between Richard and the women in his life. However, it is important to the women share the formal language that Richmond uses. She makes the argument that the difference in speech 'reinforces the thematic division between the women's identification with the social group and Richard's individualism'. Haeffner agrees that Richard is 'an individualist, hating dignity and formality'.
Janis Lull also takes special notice of the mourning women. She suggests that they are associated with 'figures of repetition as anaphora—beginning each clause in a sequence with the same word—and epistrophe—repeating the same word at the end of each clause'. One example of the epistrophe can be found in Margaret's speech in Act I, Scene III. Haeffner refers to these as few of many 'devices and tricks of style' that occur in the play, showcasing Shakespeare's ability to bring out the potential of every word.
The Last Days Of Richard Iii And The Fate Of His Dna Pdf Free Download Torrent
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The best non-fiction is from John Ashdown-Hill, member of the Royal Historical Society and the Richard III Society. His 2013 book The Last Days of Richard III and the fate of his DNA is superb. The focus is entirely on King Richard during 1485 including a calendar and itinerary for the year plus timetable on Bosworth field. Illustrations are plentiful, and the author describes his work going back 16 generations to find DNA from the last survivor of Richard’s line for comparison with the king’s skeleton.