Richard III – Villain as Hero Machiavelli’s Influence on Shakespeare<br />My Kingdom for a Stage<br />Jim Mukerjee<br />Au...
Agenda<br />Niccolo Machiavelli<br />King Richard III<br />Influence of Machiavelli’s Philosophy<br />Dilemma of Leadershi...
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)<br />The Prince, published in Italy,1532<br />
	King Richard III (1452 - 1485)<br /> “Every tale condemns me for a  villain”.<br />
Influence of Machiavelli’s Political Philosophy<br />“Learn how not to be good”: The ends justify the means<br />	A ruler ...
Influence of Machiavelli’s Political Philosophy<br /><ul><li>“IT is necessary to seem to have the required qualities. </li...
Dilemma of Leadership<br />If you have to commit immoral and evil acts to become a successful leader, how can you also be ...
Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Although necessary in politics, taking Machiavellian philosophy too far is not a prudent strategy ...
Leaders must learn from history, or be doomed to repeat the same mistakes
Richard loses good judgment and does not value the importance and responsibilities of being a true king
Had Richard not been so persistently evil, he indeed would have been a real Hero – a tragic waste of a heroic opportunity ...
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Richard III - Villain As A Hero, Oxford University, August 1,2011

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Influence of Niccolo Machiavelli’s Political Philosophy on Shakespeare’s characterization of King Richard III,
Presentation in Oxford Univ, UK, August 1, 2011

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Richard III - Villain As A Hero, Oxford University, August 1,2011

  1. 1. Richard III – Villain as Hero Machiavelli’s Influence on Shakespeare<br />My Kingdom for a Stage<br />Jim Mukerjee<br />August 1, 2011<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Niccolo Machiavelli<br />King Richard III<br />Influence of Machiavelli’s Philosophy<br />Dilemma of Leadership<br />Conclusion<br />Epilogue<br />
  3. 3. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)<br />The Prince, published in Italy,1532<br />
  4. 4. King Richard III (1452 - 1485)<br /> “Every tale condemns me for a villain”.<br />
  5. 5. Influence of Machiavelli’s Political Philosophy<br />“Learn how not to be good”: The ends justify the means<br /> A ruler must survive – do whatever it takes, moral or immoral, to get and retain the throne<br />George is Richard’s first target<br />Arranged to kill his brother with impunity!<br />“Learn well to disguise true character: feign and pretend”<br />Egregious pretence of a pious life of prayer and meditation<br />Immediate switch back to accepting the throne when pressed<br />
  6. 6. Influence of Machiavelli’s Political Philosophy<br /><ul><li>“IT is necessary to seem to have the required qualities. </li></ul> In politics appearance trumps reality”: Form is more important than substance<br />Richard makes a mockery of love and camaraderie <br />So do all others present at Edward IV’s deathbed<br />“Avoid usurping property, women & children of subjects”:<br /> Arranged to kill two young, innocent princes in the tower<br />Reneged on promise of property and Dukedom to Buckingham<br />
  7. 7. Dilemma of Leadership<br />If you have to commit immoral and evil acts to become a successful leader, how can you also be a good person?<br />Richard does not triumph at the end<br />Human instinct forces people to act in outrage when sufficiently provoked: Richard loses allies, family, and the audience<br />Use good judgment to balance between Villain and Hero<br />Shakespeare: Pride goeth before a fall!<br />
  8. 8. Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Although necessary in politics, taking Machiavellian philosophy too far is not a prudent strategy for leadership
  9. 9. Leaders must learn from history, or be doomed to repeat the same mistakes
  10. 10. Richard loses good judgment and does not value the importance and responsibilities of being a true king
  11. 11. Had Richard not been so persistently evil, he indeed would have been a real Hero – a tragic waste of a heroic opportunity - Villain as Hero!</li></li></ul><li>HonniSoit Qui Mal Y Pense<br />
  12. 12. EPILOGUE<br />
  13. 13. Epilogue<br />Good ‘morrow my noble lords and ladies of class,<br />Close reading, thrust stage, mixed metaphors, prolepsis ‘n puns, soliloquies alas,<br />If blind ambition, cold conscience ‘ere guides<br />for thee,<br />What sort of king doth think you would be?<br />

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