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Shakespeare's Early History PlaysFrom Chronicle to Stage$
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Dominique Goy-Blanquet

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198119876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119876.001.0001

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Certain Dregs of Conscience

Certain Dregs of Conscience

Chapter:
(p.244) 7 Certain Dregs of Conscience
Source:
Shakespeare's Early History Plays
Author(s):

Dominique Goy-Blanquet

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119876.003.0008

This chapter begins by explaining that the chroniclers who are quite open about their adoption of Thomas More's History, generally failed to advertise their equally important debt to Vergil, who was also More's main source. It discusses that the combination of Vergil and More inspired Shakespeare's first masterpiece. It adds that their conflicting views of Richard provided material for successive phases of the character's development in the play, as the gleeful schemer of the first half gives way to the nervous, irate, lonely figure riding straight into Hell. It stresses the parallels between Shakespeare's and More's Richard, demonstrating what makes them both so memorable and so unlike, some part of which may be traced to Vergil's portrait. It notes that the History of Richard III is inspired by the great Latin historians.

Keywords:   Thomas More, Vergil, History, Richard III, Shakespeare, Latin historians

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