A sea of troubles
The thought of the outside in Shakespeare’s histories
in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
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William Shakespeare structured his histories around the thought of the outside as a consummation devoutly wished, the escape from the 'water wallèd bulwark' of Dover cliffs. In 1599 the Lancashire poet John Weever praised Shakespeare as creator of characters like Richard III in a book of Epigrams. What is certain is that Richard III is constructed around a series of tributes to the Stanleys that exaggerates their importance in the invasion of 1485 which brought the Tudors to power. The battle of Bosworth takes place, in Shakespeare's rewriting, on All Souls' Day and it could be that Richard III was written for performance in 1593 on that day of the dead. By making Henry VII's first thought as king concern for the boy who was known as Lord Strange, Shakespeare concluded Richard III with a question that would have had sinister implications for Strange's actors and their audience.


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