While the general idea is to illustrate how William Shakespeare reflected the\ud contemporary conflicts and problems of the Elizabethan society, the particular\ud aim of the thesis is to offer a close critical analysis of Shakespeare's Henry IV\ud Part 1 and Part 2, Henry V and Henry VI Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 plays in an\ud eclectic critical approach derived from the theoretical principles of New\ud Historicism and Cultural Materialism. In order to provide a better understanding\ud of the plays studied in the thesis, there is a presentation of the development of\ud drama, both religious and secular, in the Reformation period. In addition to this,\ud main features of Cultural Materialism and New Historicism are given. The\ud English Reformation and its effects on drama have been given in the introductory\ud chapter. In the first chapter, contemporary religious controversies as reflected in\ud Shakespeare's 1 and 2 Henry VI plays are discussed. The second chapter deals\ud with the reflections of contemporary social conflicts in especially the Jack Cade\ud episode of Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI. In the third chapter, reflections of political\ud conflicts in Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry V, and Henry VI plays are analysed in\ud terms of the appropriation of commoners by the ruling class for the preservation\ud of the dominant order. The thesis concludes that the plays are polyvalent in\ud meaning and thus open to further academic discussions for the years to come
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