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Shakespeare’s Richard II

Dr. White reviews the classical tragic structure of Shakespeare’s Richard II in this first of several lectures on the Bard’s English history plays. This is perhaps Shakespeare’s first great tragedy, outlining the fate of Richard II who is in the drama a great figure indeed, blighted only by his excessive pride. Not only is that tragic flaw responsible, in true classical fashion, for his own demise, but it leads likewise to the ruin and chaos of his fourteenth-century English environs. Also consistent with the classical model is the fact that while suffering Richard gains knowledge about himself and reality that was arguably otherwise unobtainable.

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