PL EN


2013 | 3 | 88-101
Article title

Eroticism-Politics-Identity: The Case of Richard III

Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
Richard III’s courtship of Lady Anne in William Shakespeare’s King Richard III is a blend of courtly speech and sexual extravaganza. His sexual energy and power of seduction were invented by Shakespeare to enhance the theatrical effect of this figure and, at the same time, to present Richard as a tragic character. Richard’s eroticism in Act 1 Scene 2 makes him a complicated individual. Playing a seducer is one of the guises he uses to achieve his political aims on the one hand, and, on the other, the pose of a sexually attractive lover enables him to put his masculinity to the test. Throughout the scene Richard is haunted by his deformity that, together with his villainy, makes him a stranger to the world and an enemy to his family and the court. In order to overcome his self-image of a disproportional cripple he manifests his sexuality towards Anne to boost his self-esteem and to confirm that the lady will accept him despite his obvious physical shortcomings. This article uses Georges Bataille’s theory of eroticism and erotic desire to characterize Richard as a tragic individual and to explain the reasons behind his unexpected sexual behaviour in the seduction scene.
Keywords
Year
Volume
3
Pages
88-101
Physical description
Dates
published
2013-11-01
online
2013-11-01
Contributors
  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
References
  • Bataille, Georges. Erotism, Death and Sensuality. Trans. Mary Dalwood.San Francisco: City Lights, 1986. Print.
  • ---. The Accursed Share: Volumes II and III. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Zone, 1991. Print.
  • Bullough, Geoffrey, ed. Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare. Vol. III. Earlier English History Plays: Henry VI, Richard III, RichardII. London: Routledge, 1960. Print.
  • Carson, Annette. Richard III: The Maligned King. Stroud, Gloucestershire: History, 2011. Print.
  • Chernaik, Warren. The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare’s HistoryPlays. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. Print.
  • Clemen, Wolfgang. A Commentary on Shakespeare’s Richard III. Trans. Jean Bohheim. London: Methuen, 1968. Print.
  • Greenblatt, Stephen. Renaissance Self-fashioning. From More to Shakespeare.
  • Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1984. Print.
  • ---. “Richard III.” The Norton Shakespeare. Based on the Oxford Edition:Histories. New York: Norton, 1997. 319-26. Print.
  • Haeffner, Paul. A Critical Commentary on Shakespeare’s Richard III. MacmillanCritical Commentaries. London: Macmillan, 1966. Print.
  • More, Thomas. “History of King Richard III.” Richard III: The GreatDebate. Ed. Paul Kendall. London: The Florio Society, [1513] 1965. 31-146. Print.
  • Ornstein, Robert. A Kingdom for a Stage. The Achievement of Shakespeare’sHistory Plays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1972. Print.
  • Richardson, Samuel. Essays on Shakespeare’s Dramatic Characters of Richardthe Third, King Lear, and Timon of Athens. London: Murray, 1784. Print.
  • Shakespeare, William. King Henry V. Ed. T.W. Craik. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2001. Print.
  • ---. King Henry VI. Part Three. Ed. John D. Cox and Eric Rasmussen. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2001. Print.
  • ---. King Richard III. Ed. Anthony Hammond. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2006. Print.
  • Skura, Meredith Anne. Shakespeare the Actor and the Purposes of Playing. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1993. Print.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.hdl_11089_8495
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.