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On Shakespearian Echoes in Chapman's Byron Plays

Abstract : [Summary from publisher]The purpose of this article is to show that George Chapman borrowed distinct elements of William Shakespeare's Richard II to compose The Conspiracy and Tragedy of Byron, his second French tragedy, published in 1608. Beyond the thematic similarities and the inversion of Richard II's structure in Byron - i.e. the failure of a subject rebelling against his lawful king - Chapman explicitly hinted at Shakespeare's play. The echoes found in Byron - especially at the end - bring to the fore the paradoxical resemblance between the two eponymous heroes. Both are victims - even if they are not innocent - of experts in Machiavellianism (Bolingbroke and Henry IV), who challenge their statuses. While Richard is defeated as a king, Byron's ambition of being his " owne king " stumbles over his sovereign's absolute power.
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Contributor : Gilles Bertheau <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 12, 2014 - 4:34:55 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 1:48:04 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00989941, version 1



Gilles Bertheau. On Shakespearian Echoes in Chapman's Byron Plays. Etudes Epistémè : revue de littérature et de civilisation (XVIe - XVIIIe siècles), Association Études Épistémè, 2006, pp.375-87. ⟨halshs-00989941⟩



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