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REPRESENTATIONS OF THE STAGE MACHIAVEL IN OTHELLO, KING LEAR AND HAMLET

BROWSE_DETAIL_CREATION_DATE: 10-08-2016

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BROWSE_DETAIL_TYPE: Thesis

BROWSE_DETAIL_SUB_TYPE: Masters

BROWSE_DETAIL_PUBLISH_STATE: Unpublished

BROWSE_DETAIL_FORMAT: PDF Document

BROWSE_DETAIL_LANG: English

BROWSE_DETAIL_SUBJECTS: English, English literature,

BROWSE_DETAIL_CREATORS: Yönden, Sıla (Author),

BROWSE_DETAIL_CONTRIBUTERS: Doğan Adanur, Evrim (Advisor),

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Machiavellianism, Machiavellian characters, Shakespeare, The Prince, Politics 


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The aim of this thesis is to explore the Machiavellian presentations of the villainous characters in William Shakespeare’s tragedies: Othello, King Lear and Hamlet.  Written by Niccolo Machiavelli, one of the most influential figures of the Italian Renaissance and today who is accepted to be the father of modern political science, The Prince, is a scientific work on the matter of governing that gathered an enormous reaction in 16th century on the grounds that religion and governance could not be drifted apart and that the factor of morality in governing could never be neglected. It is recognized that this reaction had an important impact on the expression of tyranny in the Elizabethan drama and it is observed that the villainous characters were redesigned through Machiavellian policies and traits.  In the theoretical framework, the historic process from the antiquity to the Renaissance is explored and the content of The Prince is investigated. Why The Prince gained such a notorious reputation is determined and the influence of Machiavelli on England is clarified. How Machiavelli’s identity and his philosophy faded into the background while his name became synonymous with the words, manipulation, duplicity and deceitfulness is explicated. In what terms and how The Prince supplied the Elizabethan playwrights are explained through allusions and a focus on Machiavellian influence on Shakespeare is investigated.   In the analysis chapters, the villainous characters of Shakespeare’s selected tragedies are analyzed and which Machiavellian policies and traits that Shakespeare   iv  used to associate the ideal ruler of The Prince to his tyrant characters are evaluated. Othello, King Lear and Hamlet are chosen to give a better understanding of the employment of Machiavellian thought in different dimensions and Iago, Edmund and Claudius are progressively analyzed to show the escalatory application of Machiavellian thought in personal ambitions, in acquiring kingship and in maintaining kingship.   In conclusion, it is reached that the Machiavellian politics and thought had a major contribution in the reconstruction of the villains of the Elizabethan drama. Identical Machiavellian patterns of the villainous characters of the examined tragedies are determined and it is observed that Machiavellianism is put in juxtaposition to the classical moralist and aristocratic system of thought. It is resolved that this juxtaposition is used to create a discrepancy between the Machiavellian thought and the traditions and ethics of the Elizabethan society due to its consideration as a defender of atheism and immorality. It is evaluated in the selected tragedies that though the Machiavellian characters are the action dominators they are doomed to reach their anti-climax because of their Machiavellian philosophy in Elizabethan England to show the superiority of the virtues, ethics and traditions of the Elizabethans over Machiavellianism. 


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