The Pastoral in Shakespear's First Tetralogy
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This paper attempts to investigate various definitions of the pastoral through a close analysis of two major scenes in Shakespeare's First Tetralogy: 2Henry6,4.10 and 3Henry6,2.5. While these two scenes embody the major themes of the First Tetralogy (1-3 Henry6 and Richard3), they show how Shakespeare uses the pastoral within the context of the above plays to create a sense of oppositeness or oppostion between two different worlds, mainly the court and the country. It is through the juxtaposition of the rural with that of the court that the meaning of the pastoral can be best understood. Of equal significance to this paper is the study of the major element of contrast upon which the various definitions of the pastoral heavily rely. As the analysis reveals, this very element of setting up a binary opposition between contraries is embedded in Renaissance thought that is deeply influenced by the tendency of the Medieval mind to look at various things in terms of polar opposites. The paper also attempts to examine what Shakespeare has accomplished by his inclusion of the two scenes which necessarily imply that their dramatic effect serves as a commentary on the political scene at Shakespeare's time. Their existence aims at a purpose going beyond the mere creation of an atmosphere contrary to that of the court.