The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0157  Friday, 15 July 2011

From:         Charles Hallett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 12:02:52 -0400
Subject:      Book Contrasting More's Richard III and Shakespeare's

The Artistic Links Between William Shakespeare and Sir Thomas More: Radically Different Richards

Artistic Links takes as its governing theme the idea that Shakespeare’s imagination was triggered by the assertions of a band of citizens in Thomas More’s History of King Richard III who complained that Richard obtained the crown of England by “performing on scaffolds.” In the “stage plays” that More was condemning Shakespeare saw a dramatic flair he wanted to imitate. Implementing the tactics of More’s archetypal tyrant, Shakespeare re-creates Richard as a consummate dramatist who offers his theater audience a showcase of well-crafted and deliberately innovative scenes. This study of two radically different Richards traces out the process through which Shakespeare transformed the eloquent narrative prose of More’s History into compelling drama by mounting each segment of Richard’s “autobiography” on a reversal structure that would become the hallmark of his mature style. Meticulously analyzing the processes of orchestrating the action in each scene, the Halletts present a detailed account of the significant dramaturgical discoveries Shakespeare made while writing Richard III.  The book is written for all lovers of the theater—actors, directors, playwrights, theater-goers, critics, and scholars—and for those general readers who wish to understand how the classic Shakespearean reversal differs from the better-known de casibus and Aristotelian reversals.  The Halletts feel that Shakespeare’s interaction with Thomas More’s Richard should be heralded as the making of Shakespeare.
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