‘Bleeding roses’: a study into the use of blood and bloody language in relation to the representation of power and legitimacy in Shakespeare’s Henry VI parts 1, 2 & 3 and Richard III

Breed, Daisy (2016) ‘Bleeding roses’: a study into the use of blood and bloody language in relation to the representation of power and legitimacy in Shakespeare’s Henry VI parts 1, 2 & 3 and Richard III. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The aim of this work is to investigate the way in which power and legitimacy is represented in royal, political and courtly figures in Shakespeare’s first history tetralogy. The concept of legitimacy is examined through the use of bloodlines recounted within the plays, and studying the actions carried out by each courtly figure focused on. Using research into medieval contemporary thought on the symbolism connected with blood and blood-spilling I comment specifically on the use of blood throughout the plays studied in relation to events and other symbols included within the plays.
    I argue that these questions of legitimacy and blood affect the way that Shakespeare represents the Wars of the Roses, and that his ultimate goal in doing so was to exemplify the Tudor dynasty. I separate the discussion into three chapters focusing on power through inheritance, the factors making power unstable, and the negotiations of power that take place throughout the four plays. The arguments I make are presented with a consciousness of wider historical context of the Elizabethan period, and the bearing that this has on Shakespeare’s work.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2016 08:53
    Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016 08:53
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/21648

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