Propaganda in 'Richard III' Analytical Essay by Shaad

Propaganda in 'Richard III'
This paper presents an examination of the play 'Richard III' by William Shakespeare in terms of historical facts, focusing on the use of propaganda in the play.
# 113793 | 1,318 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2007 | BD
Published by on May 10, 2009 in Drama and Theater (English) , History (British) , Shakespeare (Richard II and III)

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In this article, the writer demonstrates that Shakespeare's 'Richard III' is a propaganda play. The writer maintains that, written in the aftermath of the victory over the Spanish, the play is clearly intent on glorifying the victorious Tudors over the Lancastrian Plantagenets whom they succeeded. By painting the last Plantagenet monarch as a villain, Shakespeare intends to strengthen the Tudor claim to the throne. The essay examines historical evidence to show to what extent Shakespeare manipulates facts, and in many instances twists them completely around, to achieve the purposes of propaganda.

From the Paper:

"The first thing to note is that the claim of Henry Tudor to the English throne was a tenuous one. It was he who defeated and slew Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field to ascend to the throne in 1485, and thereby beginning the Tudor dynasty. He was so slight a pretender that he was compelled to marry the daughter of the Yorkist king Edward IV immediately after coming to the throne, to bolster his royal credentials. This was only the first step, for the history of the Tudors shows that they were constantly in agitation in order to prove themselves to the people, or to hold on to power. The nervous energy of the Tudors brought about great upheavals during their reign, among them the 1534 Act of Supremacy by Henry VIII, which severed England from Catholic hegemony and gave birth to the first great Protestant nation. Propaganda was particularly an instrument in this regard. In 1506 Henry VII appointed the Italian scholar Polydore Vergil to compose an official account of the War of the Roses."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cahn, Victor L. Shakespeare the Playwright: A Companion to the Complete Tragedies, Histories, Comedies, and Romances. Westport CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996.
  • Fields, Bertram. Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes. London: HarperCollins, 1998.
  • Keyes, Ralph. The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2006.
  • Shakespeare, William. "Richard III." Shakespeare's Histories. Ed. Peter Alexander. London and Glasgow: Collins, 1966.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Propaganda in 'Richard III' (2009, May 10) Retrieved March 21, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Propaganda in 'Richard III'" 10 May 2009. Web. 21 March. 2023. <>