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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: July ::
Re: French in *Henry V* (Mortimer)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 469.  Thursday, 29 July 1993.
 
From:           Al Cacicedo <
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Date:           Thursday, 29 Jul 1993 1:16:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 4.0463  Re: Henry V's French
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0463  Re: Henry V's French
 
     On Herb Donow's remarks on Mortimer as one of Shakespeare's
"ideal heroes" because he wishes to learn how to communicate with
his wife, I'd urge everyone to read Matthew Wikander's *The Play of
Truth and State:  Historical Drama from Shakespeare to Brecht* (Johns
Hopkins, 1986), who argues that Mortimer is literally bewitched by
Glendower, and that his marriage to Glendower's daughter presents
the moral folly of rebellion as a parallel to Hotspur's political folly in
the same scene.  The argument involves complex analyses of the
play, to which I cannot do justice here.  Phyllis Rakin, whose discussion
of Mortimer in *Stages of History:  Shakespeare's English Chronicles*
(Cornell, 1990) refers to Wikander's book, also puts in question the
ideality of Mortimer's "heroism":  "His manhood lost to female
enchantment,the heir of Richard II never appears on the fields of
battle where English history is made" (171)
 
Just a-reading in Reading, PA
 
Al Cacicedo (
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Albright College
 

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