A Necessary Evil: The Inverted Hagiography Of Richard III

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Analysis of A Necessary Evil: The Inverted Hagiography of Shakespeare’s Richard III by Lainie Pomerleau Lainie Pomerleau is an English professor currently teaching at the University of Georgia. Before that she went to the University of Southern Maine for her Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature, and then to the University of Tennessee for her Master’s Degree. She is a candidate for receiving a PhD. She has studied English literature extensively and has a broad understanding of different uses of it. Therefore she has immense credibility in literature. Lainie Pomerleau’s article, A Necessary Evil: The Inverted Hagiography of Shakespeare’s Richard III, suggests why Shakespear’s play, Richard III, is more of a reverse Hagiography rather than an actual history or even political propaganda on the life of King Richard III. A hagiography is a biography that idealizes its subject, which is the opposite of what William Shakespeare did for Richard. Pomerleau makes it his mission to explain why Shakespeare did this and why it resonated with the audience. Pomerleau says of Shakespeare’s play, “Richard III is hagiographic in nature and operates as an adaptation of, not a break with, medieval hagiographic traditions established in works…” (Pomerleau 69). Here the author is trying to appeal to readers that would have an understanding of medieval writings and who would be familiar with hagiographies. Pomerleau also gives reasons as to why Richard III should not be considered
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