Et se ne sta cum quel titulo solo di bona persona. It was still unprinted when Pole had it pressed on his attention by Cromwell, and Brosch consequently suspects the story. Upon the death of Clement, Pole opened the attack; but it was not pursued during the reaction against things Medicean which occupied the reign of Farnese. Machiavelli was denounced to the Inquisition on the 11th of November , by Muzio, a man much employed in controversy and literary repression, who, knowing Greek, was chosen by Pius V.
When the Index was instituted, in , Machiavelli was one of the first writers condemned, and he was more rigorously and implacably condemned than anybody else. The Trent Commissioners themselves prepared editions of certain prohibited authors, such as Clarius and Flaminius; Guicciardini was suffered to appear with retrenchments; and the famous revision of Boccaccio was carried out in This was due to the influence of Victorius, who pleaded in vain for a castigated text of Machiavelli.
He continued to be specially excepted when permission was given to read forbidden books. Lipsius was advised by his Roman censors to mix a little Catholic salt in his Machiavellism, and to suppress a seeming protest against the universal hatred for a writer qui misera qua non manu hodie vapulat.
One of the ablest but most contentious of the Jesuits, Raynaud, pursued his memory with a story like that with which Tronchin improved the death of Voltaire: In spite of this notorious disfavour, he has been associated with the excesses of the religious wars. The divines who held these doctrines received them through their own channels straight from the Middle Ages. The germ theory, that the wages of heresy is death, was so expanded as to include the rebel, the usurper, the heterodox or rebellious town, and it continued to develop long after the time of Machiavelli.
At first it had been doubtful whether a small number of culprits justified the demolition of a city: Under the most carnal and unchristian king, the Vaudois of Provence were exterminated in the year , and Paul Sadolet wrote as follows to Cardinal Farnese just before and just after the event: Ellos le diceron que non era pecado, mas que quedaria irregular.
When, on the 21st of January , a youth offered his services to make away with Henry IV. There were at least three men living far into the eighteenth century who defended the massacre of St. Bartholomew in their books; and it was held as late as that culprits may be killed before they are condemned: Whilst these principles were current in religion as well as in society, the official censures of the Church and the protests of every divine since Catharinus were ineffectual.
Much of the profaner criticism uttered by such authorities as the Cardinal de Retz, Voltaire, Frederic the Great, Daunou, and Mazzini is not more convincing or more real. Linguet was not altogether wrong in suggesting that the assailants knew Machiavelli at second hand: Frederic and Algernon Sidney had read only one of his books, and Bolingbroke, a congenial spirit, who quotes him so often, knew him very little. Hume spoils a serious remark by a glaring eighteenth-century comment: The errors of this politician proceeded, in a great measure, from his having lived in too early an age of the world to be a good judge of political truth.
Hilaire, verging on paradox, says: It is easier to expose errors in practical politics than to remove the ethical basis of judgments which the modern world employs in common with Machiavelli. By plausible and dangerous paths men are drawn to the doctrine of the justice of History, of judgment by results, the nursling of the nineteenth century, from which a sharp incline leads to The Prince. When we say that public life is not an affair of morality, that there is no available rule of right and wrong, that men must be judged by their age, that the code shifts with the longitude, that the wisdom which governs the event is superior to our own, we carry obscurely tribute to the system which bears so odious a name.
Few would scruple to maintain with Mr. Morley that the equity of history requires that we shall judge men of action by the standards of men of action; or with Retz: Say, confirms the ambitious coadjutor: The austere Pascal has said: Locke, according to Mr. Bain, holds that we shall scarcely find any rule of morality, excepting such as are necessary to hold society together, and these too with great limitations, but what is somewhere or other set aside, and an opposite established by whole societies of men.
Maine de Biran extracts this conclusion from the Esprit des Lois: These things survive, transmuted, in the edifying and popular epigram: Apart from the language of Religion, an optimism ranging to the bounds of fatalism is the philosophy of many, especially of historians: In one of those telling passages which moved Mr. Freeman to complain that he seems unable to understand that a small State can have any rights, or that a generous or patriotic sentiment can find a place anywhere except in the breast of a fool, Mommsen justifies the Roman conquests: Der Einzelne dient dem Recht; der Staat handhabt, leitet und schafft dasselbe.
Dieu agit sur elle, mais par elle. Goldwin Smith discovers the same lesson: Martineau attributes this doctrine to Mill: We are referred, not to their spring, but to their consequences. He found it in Priestley, and he might have gone on finding it in Beccaria and Hutcheson, all of whom trace their pedigree to the Mandragola: English experience has not been familiar with a line of thought plainly involving indulgence to Machiavelli.
Dugald Stewart raises him high, but raises him for a heavy fall: In a game of cat and mouse he taunts her until she threatens that she will complain to Edward, thus giving Richard the opportunity to remind everyone how much Edward owes him. Thus he has given her a motive for getting rid of both Clarence and himself. Suddenly, the queen has treason looming over her head. Throughout the whole scene, Richard proves to be a superb actor.
He rounds off a masterly performance by pretending only to be a plain man, who cannot flatter and the pious man who is too kind-hearted to get on in the world. Es ist das Antichrist-Thema: This means, that throughout the whole scene he must have had the execution warrant in his pocket, and still he had no scruples about casting the blame on others. The beginning of act II sees Edward on his deathbed. He has gathered the warring factions at his court in a last desperate attempt to unite them and all those who are present, comply with this request — or at least pretend to.
When Richard enters, he pretends to join in the cordial mood and even takes the lead. He does not have to wait long. When the queen asks her husband, to include his imprisoned brother in these reconciliations, Richard pretends to take offence:. He is to be Lord Protector. Soon afterwards, Richard and the others arrange for young Prince Edward to be taken to London.
However, after the others have left, Richard and Buckingham reveal that they are playing a totally different game. He was the counsellor, instrument and crony to his master. When Queen Elizabeth sends her son to sanctuary, it is Buckingham who, in the very accents of Richard, argues that it would be no sin to drag him forth. Sanctuary, he maintains, was never designed to keep children away from their lawful guardians: Buckingham issues orders to snatch a child , currently under protection of church sanctuary from the arms of his mother , only for the sake of political pragmatism and Wolfgang Clemen illustrates,.
Buckingham is the perfect Machiavellian agent . Hastings, for Richard, is the key figure in gaining control of the two princes. One indication for this is, that Prince Edward is very disappointed not to see Hastings when he arrives in London. Although Hastings is prepared to help Richard become Protector, he draws the line when asked by Catesby to help Richard to the crown.
From that point on, Hastings is no longer of any use to Richard and Richard makes quite clear how he will deal with Hastings if he does not comply.
Richard has prepared the removal of Hastings very carefully. It is all to happen at a council meeting where the date for the coronation of Prince Edward is to be decided. Hastings is foolish enough to doubt the evidence and provokes an outburst in which Richard accuses Hastings of treachery for defending his mistress and condemns him to death. Richard leaves the others in the room no time to answer and orders everyone who is on his side to leave the room with him. Hastings is led away to his execution immediately afterwards.
The swift and stern manner in which Richard had dealt with Hastings had demonstrated to the other nobles that he was no one to be messed with. All he has to do now is to find a way to persuade the citizens that he alone is the rightful heir to the throne of England. If Richard cannot be made king by popular acclaim he must be presented in a different light — the devout man reluctant to accept the proffered throne. Richard feigns reluctance to meet the mayor and aldermen, and finally he appears with a prayer book in his hand, flanked by two bishops.
However, as Naumann points out, the significance of this scene also has a more abstract level.
This whole part of the scene also reflects a crucial point which Machiavelli had made: The last thing Richard would want to decline is the crown of England. However, he still has to fool the mayor and the citizens into believing that he has to be persuaded into accepting the crown. In the end the astonishing display of acting of both Richard and Buckingham pays off.
In the second scene of the fourth act Richard is finally crowned. However, there is something very strange about this scene: Even though Richard is king there is a deep divide between him and the other people in the room. He is totally isolated as Bridget Gellert Lyons illustrates:. The royal seat of England, separated in this way from the society to which it is meant to give order and coherence, becomes the private place where Richard plots the murder of the legitimate ruler, and where he is unable to assert his authority even over his accomplice.
Richard III, the Machiavellian Villain
It now becomes obvious that Richard has a lot more talent as an actor than as a politician. After all, one of the most important points which Machiavelli had made was that a ruler should do everything he could in order to gain the support of the dominant social group. Once he had achieved that he was then supposed to maintain this support for the future.
In the end it is inevitable that he has to fall, as Wheeler illustrates. Richard as King demonstrates in his tyranny the true nature of Machiavellian ambition and ignoring of the moral law, and as we have seen, it is when he became King that he ceases to personate; he shows what he personally is. Richard begins by hinting that his position is endangered by the young Prince Edward. When Buckingham hesitates he inadvertently seals his own fate. Until then he had just about managed to leave the murders to Richard, however deeply he may have been involved in the preceding plotting.
He has no use for a man who has a pitiful, small mind of his own. Furthermore, Richard humiliates him by simply ignoring him.
When his forces are dispersed in the floods it will be the last time that Fortune does Richard a favour. Even though Buckingham is little more than a sorry imitation of Richard there is a significant difference between the two of them: Buckingham still has a tiny rest of fundamental goodness, a quality which Richard lacks entirely, as Cornelia Czach shows in the following:.
After Richard had forced Buckingham to show his cards, he turned to Tyrell and put him in charge of the crime which was to cement his reputation as the most notorious criminal in the history of English politics: Therefore, it is very likely that Richard had already made up his mind about how to deal with them well before he actually became king, as Palmer explains:.
The crime of Richard is the secular crime of the power politician in every age and there is a sense in which every political leader is a wicked uncle who kills little children in their beds. When Tyrell returns with the news for Richard that the princes are dead, he describes how they were murdered in a remorseful soliloquy. Tyrell is, in fact, the first to show any notion of guilt whatsoever since the murderers of Clarence in the first act and, as Cornelia Czach has shown, this is symptomatic for the overall atmosphere of the play.
Und so, wie sie ist, ist sie in sich intakt, stimmig und in sich geschlossen. Most of them are themselves despicable, weak or eaten up by their own individual desire for personal advancement. After Tyrell has left Richard contemplates his achievements. Richard is totally aware of this fact as the frankness of his soliloquies shows  and Wolfgang Clemen explains:. With the little princes dead Richard had thought himself only one step away from really securing his reign. He was, however, only deceiving himself.
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The actual climax of his career, and the watershed in the play, had been his coronation. Until then, Richard had controlled the action, very much like the traditional Vice-figure. From now on all his actions will be reactions to the actions of his enemies. Before Richard became king, he could operate from a cover. Now, Richard is exposed and himself subjected to plotting. It is no longer he who plots and his powers will steadily decline until, eventually, he will be on par with everybody else in the play.
For this, he was ordained and he has fulfilled his destiny. The virtue, an evil virtue — has gone out of him. He will never again be the jocund adventurer in crime. It is an essential feature of the tragedy and profoundly characteristic of the man. Even though Richard had succeeded in being crowned he had only been able to attain a symbol of power. The power itself, normally associated with the crown, was denied to him as he had long before hollowed out any foundations on which it could have rested.
From now on the pressure on Richard will not ease off and all of a sudden meaner qualities which Richard had seemed to lack in the preceding part of his career become apparent. Another clear indication that Richard is increasingly losing control is when he strikes the third messenger  because he had lost his temper over the bad news brought by the previous two. Ironically, it is the third who brings good news  and for the first time, Richard is actually honest about an apology . The crucial scene to demonstrate how little power Richard now effectively has is his failed attempt to persuade Queen Elizabeth to woo her daughter in his name.
His only reason is that a marriage with the daughter of Elizabeth and Edward, the direct heiress to the throne, would secure his reign once and for all. Richard even uses the same tactics as in the earlier scene with Anne. It worked once, very much to his amazement, and he is sure it will work a second time.
But this time it is Richard who is deceived. Elizabeth gives her daughter to Richmond, thus uniting the white rose and the red in a dynasty which is to supplant Richard on the throne and to create the legend of his infamy. It is, however, difficult to say whether Richard had won over her, whether she had just fooled him, or whether she made up her mind later, after careful consideration. Expert opinions on this matter are divided. However, other scholars like Clemen and Wheeler are a little bit more cautious  and have, in turn, suggested that she probably did not make up her mind until later on, after she had enough time to go through the pros and cons of either marital option carefully.
In dramatic terms, however, it would make more sense to assume that Elizabeth had indeed managed to deceive Richard deliberately. As Palmer points out,. It springs, on the contrary, from a sense that anything he may have to do next must necessarily be something of an anti-climax. The first, fine careless rapture is exhausted. All he can do henceforth is to maintain his position and accept the necessities which it lays upon him. As a consequence, Fortune begins to turn her back on him and Richard will increasingly find himself fighting losing battles.
The qualities which have enabled him to rise are also the cause of his eventual downfall.
And this is where the element of tragedy comes in, as Moseley illustrates: In the end, he is only a tool of Providence whose purpose is to weed out the consequences of the usurpation of Henry IV. Ironically, it is Richard who brings down his own House and who paves the way for the reaccession of the House of Lancaster.
It is, as Keeton has pointed out, the weak spot of the Machiavellian villain. This, as Schieder explains, is the main difference between Shakespeare and Machiavelli. On the outside Richard still puts up a brave face and encourages the people around him. However, he has lost his supreme confidence and he even admits his fear to Ratcliffe. Richard even asks for wine twice, within a reasonably short amount of time  , another indication that he is growing increasingly nervous. The most important part of the last act is when Richard is haunted in his sleep on the eve of the final battle at Bosworth by the ghosts of the people he murdered.
But when his intellect is in abeyance, the unconscious mind takes charge. Here, at last [ As Haeffner illustrates, bad dreams, for an Elizabethan audience, were a clear hint that a character in a play was suffering from melancholia:. Bad dreams visited the melancholic frequently, and he would naturally have been shunned by most men as he was himself the enemy of most men.
In a way it excuses him from behaving as he does, and it makes just possible a feeling of pity for him at the end when he is beset by enemies, and overcome by his conscience and bad dreams. They encourage Richmond and they pound Richard with a series of accusations and curses. When Richard awakes he is depressed and tormented by his conscience. By suppressing the moral implications of his actions Richard had only deceived himself. In his dreams, however, his mind is no longer under his control and, consequently, it now confronts him with realities he cannot escape from.
Since Richard had decided to dedicate himself to a career of Machiavellian villainy, he had managed to alienate himself from everyone and everything in his world: When Ratcliffe comes to tell Richard that it is time to get ready he finds Richard in a state of thoughtful depression. However, Richard quickly pulls himself together and gets back to business. He organises his army and encourages his confederates. Even though this is little more than a last act of defiance, for Richard it is the only way out still left to him.
Conscience is not just a word , not just a fiction invented as a political tool, force is useless against it. It is real and it destroys. The speed with which his forces will disintegrate demonstrates how right he was about his doubts over the loyalty of his troops. He achieved his aims by deceit and murder. Machiavelli, himself, would not have approved of everything Richard did. He succeeded in becoming king but he neither won the support of the nobles or his countrymen nor were his actions in their interest.
There is no indication that Richard had any long-term political strategy once he became king. On the contrary, he destabilized a fragile peace and plunged his country back into civil war. As a result, he not only met his own downfall but he also caused the fall of the House of York. The Complete Works of Shakespeare. English Literary Renaissance 1 Some Elizabethan Allusions to Machiavelli.
English Miscellany 20 Kommentar zu Richard III. Shakespeare- Jahrbuch 68 Dubrow, Heather and Strier, Richard. Politik in Shakepeares Dramen. Frankfurt am Main Metzler Lexikon Literatur- und Kulturtheorie. Political and comic characters of Shakespeare. Angel with Horns and other Shakespeare Lectures.
Political and comic characters. He thought that the best an individual could aspire to was to become a good citizen, a tiny wheel in some much more complex mechanism. An excessive amount of amount of freedom would only lead to disorder. Sewanee Review 84 History, Character and Conscience.
Shakespeare and the Allegory of Evil. It is an interesting point but it seems a little bit far-fetched. His precise whereabouts are currently unknown. Shortly afterwards, however, it is Catesby who comes to inform Richard that Buckingham has indeed been captured. Furthermore, bad dreams were a common dramatical trait of tyrants. Habermann, Ina and Klein, Bernhard: English Language and Literature Studies - Other.
American Studies - Literature. English - Literature, Works. English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics. Geschichte - Weltgeschichte - Moderne Geschichte. Geschichte Europa - and. English - Applied Geography. English - History of Literature, Eras. GRIN Publishing, located in Munich, Germany, has specialized since its foundation in in the publication of academic ebooks and books. The publishing website GRIN. Free Publication of your term paper, essay, interpretation, bachelor's thesis, master's thesis, dissertation or textbook - upload now!
Register or log in. Our newsletter keeps you up to date with all new papers in your subjects. Request a new password via email. At best, her effects could be channeled, as Machiavelli illustrates when he compares Fortune to a river in flood: The young Richard At the beginning of 3 Henry VI , Richard is portrayed as a soldier, proud of what he has achieved in battle, but unrestrained by any moral scruples. And, father, do but think How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown, Within whose circuit is Elysium And all that poets feign of bliss and joy. Why do we linger thus? Tears then for babes; blows and revenge for me!
Richard, I bear thy name. I can add colors to the chameleon, Change shapes with Proteus for advantages, And set the murderous Machiavel to school. Oh, may such purple tears be alway shed From those that wish the downfall of our house! If any spark of life be yet remaining, Down, down to hell, and say I sent thee thither. I am myself alone. King Henry and the Prince his son are gone; Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest, Counting myself but bad till I be best.
He makes this very clear in his opening soliloquy: Meanwhile, this deep disgrace in brotherhood touches me deeper than you can imagine.
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