Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
Recent scholarly essays have marked the swing of the literary criticism pendulum from the limited scopes of formalism and New Historicism to a syncretic amalgamation aptly called “historical formalism,” in which the focus is on the formal elements of a literary work while also noting the context of the surrounding culture without making the anti-humanist assumption that a work can only be orthodox or subversive. This allows for the humanist assertion that gifted authors could imbue their works with a deeper philosophical outlook. This essay develops a theory of “rhetorical formalism” and looks at the oratorical elements used in Shakespeare’s Henriad. Shakespeare bestowed upon his three protagonists, Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V, many epideictic, forensic, and deliberative devices and speeches. These orations reveal a more nuanced and complex characterization of these kings than just tragic hero, usurper, and ideal monarch.
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Marta R. Martins
Received from author
Martins, Marta R., "Orationes Regum Ac Potentia: Monarchical Oratory and Power in Shakespeare's Henriad" (2013). Restricted Access ETDs. 73.