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View Full Version : the Battle of Bosworth is responsbile for the slant in all of Shakespeare's histories.



RichardGarfinkle
04-01-2013, 04:31 PM
If Henry Tudor had lost the battle as would have been only right and proper, that wretched Holinshed would never have written his scurrilous histories. The modern would would not be saddled with ham actors playing mad scientist's assistants as kings, not to mention kiss up baptism scenes.

We might have been given more historically accurate depictions of proper Plantagenet royalty putting down rebellions from certain upstarts.

The French would still probably have complaints about Joan of Arc's depiction as a witch, but there's no pleasing some people.

Shakesbear
04-01-2013, 05:27 PM
the slant in all of Shakespeare's histories.Please explain o wise and knowledgeable one how this works in Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra?

gothicangel
04-03-2013, 11:50 AM
I've never really seen the point of 'if historical event A' never happened, then B wouldn't have happened. If Prince Henry [son of James VI] had not gone swimming in the Thames he wouldn't have died of Typhoid, and Charles I would never have been King. Then we would have a completely different monarchy - and parliamentary system today. :)

Anyway, I've always found Shakespeare studies a fascinating insight into the Tudor and Stuart psyche.

Torgo
04-03-2013, 01:27 PM
Please explain o wise and knowledgeable one how this works in Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra?

Regardless of when they were set, Shakespeare's Roman plays were written for a Tudor audience, so you could argue that for a Plantagenet audience they might have been different?

RichardGarfinkle
04-03-2013, 03:00 PM
I've never really seen the point of 'if historical event A' never happened, then B wouldn't have happened. If Prince Henry [son of James VI] had not gone swimming in the Thames he wouldn't have died of Typhoid, and Charles I would never have been King. Then we would have a completely different monarchy - and parliamentary system today. :)

Anyway, I've always found Shakespeare studies a fascinating insight into the Tudor and Stuart psyche.

Have you read much Alternate History? If you haven't, it's similar in underlying questions to some forms of SF. Stories that ask 'what might the world be like if this aspect of it were different?' The fun lies in playing out the chain of consequence.

It's not for everyone, but no writing genre is.

Apropos tangentially of the Roman plays and AH, the first Alternate History I know of is a short section on Livy's History of Rome. He speculates about what would have happened if Alexander the Great had tried to conquer Rome. Livy's conclusion was that Rome would have beaten Alexander. Of course, Livy was not the most objective of historians.

Shakesbear
04-03-2013, 03:09 PM
Well, for a start I doubt if Richard III would have been written as propaganda. Henry VIII would not have happened so neither would the play. MacBeth - written, some argue to complement James I and VI - possibly would not have happened. The other histories - Richard II may not have been seen as radical because of the deposition scene. I do not think that the Roman plays ( Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus) would have been changed that much. Shakespeare was born in 1564 and whilst speculation as to who may or may not have been the ruler during his creative period it is not, in my opinion, possible to say that how a change of monarchy would have changed the audience. If England had remained Catholic the social, political, economic, and religious aspects would have had a knock on effect on the theatres and audience which would have had a very different perspective.

thothguard51
04-03-2013, 05:29 PM
Shakesphere lived during what was called the little ice age and famine was also a big motivation in his writings. As a matter of fact, he was considered a horder of grain and barley and sold at very high prices. He was even considered a tax dodger. I don't think any of that would have changed...

Myrealana
04-03-2013, 06:10 PM
Anything that does away with Richard III is NOT OK. That is by far my favorite of the histories.

ULTRAGOTHA
04-03-2013, 06:42 PM
I'd have far rather had the Britain King Richard III would probably have ruled than the Shakespeare play.

The Battles of Bosworth and Hastings are probably two of the most horrible tragedies in English history.

Shakesbear
04-03-2013, 07:32 PM
Shakesphere lived during what was called the little ice age and famine was also a big motivation in his writings. As a matter of fact, he was considered a horder of grain and barley and sold at very high prices. He was even considered a tax dodger. I don't think any of that would have changed...

Opinion is divided on the price issue. Some think he and his wife hoarded so they could sell to hard up neighbours when the going got tough.


Dr Archer said Shakespeare should not be judged too harshly as hoarding was his way of ensuring his family and neighbours would not go hungry if a harvest failed.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-21993857

gothicangel
04-05-2013, 01:46 PM
Have you read much Alternate History? If you haven't, it's similar in underlying questions to some forms of SF. Stories that ask 'what might the world be like if this aspect of it were different?' The fun lies in playing out the chain of consequence.

It's not for everyone, but no writing genre is.

Apropos tangentially of the Roman plays and AH, the first Alternate History I know of is a short section on Livy's History of Rome. He speculates about what would have happened if Alexander the Great had tried to conquer Rome. Livy's conclusion was that Rome would have beaten Alexander. Of course, Livy was not the most objective of historians.

I'm a student of Ancient History and Archaeology [Leicester University, for the Richard III buffs ;).] Virgil wrote The Aeneid to buff Augustus' ego. What you hypothesize is tantamount to asking what if Cleopatra and Marcus Antonious had won the battle of Actium, then the Aeneid wouldn't exist.

My point is, all Romans excelled at self-promotion.

RichardGarfinkle
04-05-2013, 04:33 PM
I'm a student of Ancient History and Archaeology [Leicester University, for the Richard III buffs ;).] Virgil wrote The Aeneid to buff Augustus' ego. What you hypothesize is tantamount to asking what if Cleopatra and Marcus Antonious had won the battle of Actium, then the Aeneid wouldn't exist.

My point is, all Romans excelled at self-promotion.

How about Cinncinatus?

thothguard51
04-05-2013, 05:03 PM
How about Cinncinatus?

A model of Roman virtue...

RichardGarfinkle
04-05-2013, 06:48 PM
A model of Roman virtue...

That was kind of my point. Do you think his retirement was self-promotion or that he actually did his job and went back to the life he preferred?