Chapter

The Second Tetralogy and After

Howard Erskine-Hill

in Poetry and the Realm of Politics

Published in print June 1996 | ISBN: 9780198117315
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670916 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117315.003.0004
The Second Tetralogy and After

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The likening of King John to the Protestant Tudors was orthodoxy for their era until dramatists of the 1590S injected into the comparison the volatile contemporary ingredient of Arthur and the succession question, played down or ignored by Foxe and the Book of Homilies. The comparison between Elizabeth and Richard II from Camden and Peter Wentworth was compelling though it involved no orthodoxy and appealed to various viewpoints, from those of the Queen herself to the judgements of subjects discontented with her rule, or anxious about the future. The examination of Sir John Hayward — after Shakespeare's completion of the second tetralogy — seems to show a nervous tendency on Elizabeth's part to identify with a king whom some thought it had been right to depose; while her well-known announcement to William Lambarde: ‘I am Richard II, know ye not that?’ is further and exceptional evidence that, whatever its significance, Elizabeth did see a link between herself and Richard in the aftermath of an unsuccessful revolt against her.

Keywords: King John; Shakespeare; Elizabeth I; Sir John Hayward; Richard II

Chapter.  17415 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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