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A Song of Richard III and Feudalist Values

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This paper focuses on feudalist structure and values within this system in George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and Shakespeare's play King Richard the Third. The paper is structured into three arguments that

This paper focuses on feudalist structure and values within this system in George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and Shakespeare's play King Richard the Third. The paper is structured into three arguments that focus on different characters from each work. The first argument is focused on Tyrion Lannister and Richard III's deformity, and how they violate feudalist values. This argument ultimately comes to the discussion of whether or not these characters are monstrous and by what values. The second argument is focused on Daenerys Targaryen and Margaret, discussing why both authors give these women a supernatural power. The authors give women these powers because they believe that women should have power. Martin argues that women need to remake the structure, while Shakespeare believes women can change their place in the structure through collective action. The last argument focuses on Petyr Baelish and Richard III, and how they both represent a chaos attacking feudalism. Petyr is a chaos that comes outside the system, exploiting the values of the system, while Richard is a chaos within the system because he violates feudal values, while trying to hold positions where he needs to embody feudalist value. The authors come to different conclusions of what is trying to take down feudalist structure and how this could be fixed. Martin finds feudalism cannot be fixed and that other systems are not much better because they still create violence. Shakespeare comes to the conclusion that feudalism cannot be fixed because people continue to violate its values, so a new system must be put in place.

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2015-05

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Will There Also Be Singing?: An Examination of “This is America” in Relation to Modern Apocalyptic Media

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Bertolt Brecht, a noted East German poet and playwright, wrote in his poetry collection, Svendborg Gedichte (translated as Svendborg Poems), a question and answer which resonated not only in his own time, but throughout time: “In the dark times/Will there

Bertolt Brecht, a noted East German poet and playwright, wrote in his poetry collection, Svendborg Gedichte (translated as Svendborg Poems), a question and answer which resonated not only in his own time, but throughout time: “In the dark times/Will there also be singing? /Yes, there will also be singing. /About the dark times” (Brecht). When Brecht wrote this poem, he was writing about the Nazi Germany which he had been exiled from, but a similar type of darkness has also spilled into today’s time period in forms including but not limited to political division, economic disparity, and environmental distress. At times, this can be understood as being similar to an apocalypse, or the time period which can be assumed as being world-ending. While the truly apocalyptic nature of today is debatable, the reporting style around these events has twisted this time period to be inarguably dark.
However, just as Brecht says, there is still singing.
Since the 2016 election, news media has become nothing if not more apocalyptic in reporting style. As a result, other forms of media, such as songs, literature, and artwork, have been reacting in two distinct modes: first, through a realism in describing the pain of those going through the events, and second, through a blind romanticism of the truth.
In this essay, I describe the origin of apocalyptic rhetoric, and the way that this type of rhetoric has unfolded throughout a few key moments of human history. From there, I move into a discussion of song as one form of a reaction to this, making sure to keep intact the dichotomous lines as described earlier. As an emblem of this reaction in the post-2016 era, I then analyze modern apocalyptic thought, and as an example of this reaction, I analyze the song “This is America” by Childish Gambino. I then look towards the future and theorize as to what type of singing will come from future dark times.

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2020-12