Thursday, 4 October 2012

York vs. Tudor


Hi readers.

Not that I have any, are you there?

So what's with the title? Well I feel like telling the internet something.

Basically, there was a war called the War of the roses. Some of you may be familiar with it from TV shows such as the Tudors (even though by then it had really ended) or other such shows. Basic gist- two rival houses branching from the Royal house of Plantagenet, House of Lancaster and House of York were competing for the throne. Also, some of you may know about this conflict from the history plays of dear Shakespeare.

Shakespeare wrote a play about the last House of York King- Richard III. If you know this play, and if by some stretch of the imagination you develop opinions about this King based on this play, I implore you- do not be fooled by this work of fiction written to entertain.

There are many reasons why. First, as I said, let's remember the purposes for which Shakespeare wrote- entertainment. He was a playwright, not an historian. Second, he was writing under a Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I (good queen Bess, the readhead); the Tudors were attempting to demonize the Yorkist claimants... well, York and Lancaster claimants I suppose. The policy of executing any other claimant was continued by the next great King, Henry VIII.

Also, let's not forget that many historians writing during the Tudor era attempted to blacken his name too- portraying him as physically deformed, born with teeth and long hair after being in his mother's womb for over two years. Some of this, though was written by an historian who wrote under Richard III himself, but come Henry VII... yeh, I don't get it either.

Henry VII defeated Richard III at Bosworth field, however his claim to the throne was very weak- he married Elizabeth of York, the best surviving claimant to the throne- also Richard III's husband. Imagine- 'I killed your hubby, now marry me.' Gosh. The Tudor claim was total crap!

So I hope we see how the way that the House of York has been demonized is not completely legitimate. Yes, I know some of you reading this will bring up the argument of the princes in the tower- 'Richard III killed them!', however, I ask you this- they were a rallying point for his enemies. What were his options? Let them live and leave more opportunities for the enemies to rebel? In short, I'm just not completely sure that that was something he was glad to do. Also, this alleged murder has many suspects. The jury is still out on this matter.

Either way, this does not prove the Yorkist claim to be false and/or invalid. Any discussion on the subject welcome.


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