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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: June ::
Re: Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0659.  Friday, 13 June 1997.

[1]     From:   G. L. Horton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 1997 10:10:06
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?

[2]     From:   Daniel Lowenstein <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 1997 09:56:30 PST
        Subj:   SHK 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 1997 09:30:32 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?

[4]     From:   Ed Peschko <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 1997 11:46:06 -0600 (MDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           G. L. Horton <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 1997 10:10:06
Subject: 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?

Pervez Rizvi doesn't like

>        As far as to the sepulchre of Christ -
>        Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
>        We are impressed and engaged to fight -

and asks

>Brushing aside my amateurish suggestions, does anyone want to defend the
>original text?

If an amateur is entitled to an opinion, I must say I like the line
better than Rizvi's emendation.

Were I acting it, or directing an actor who was having trouble with it,
I think I'd insert a mental (As)

        As far as to the sepulchre of Christ -
>       (As) Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
>        We are impressed and engaged to fight -

But of course I approve of the difficulty here because I disapprove of
the sentiment: serving the "turn the other cheek" martyr by killing
people seems a bad idea to me, and one that ought to strain the
speaker's grammar.  Marching ahead with unimpeded metrical regularity
offends my sense of fitness.

G.L.Horton -- Newton, MA, USA

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<http://www.tiac.net/users/ghorton>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Daniel Lowenstein <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 1997 09:56:30 PST
Subject: Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?
Comment:        SHK 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?

With reference to Professor Rizvi's query, whether or not the text is
corrupt, it seems to me that the phrase "Whose soldier now" adds some
concreteness to "under whose blessed cross/We are impressed and engaged
to fight."  However ungrammatical it may appear on the page, I should
think the phrase can sound quite natural when spoken by an actor,
perhaps more so than when it is made more grammatical by adding, as
Professor Rizvi suggests, the words "we are."

Best,
Dan Lowenstein
UCLA Law School

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 1997 09:30:32 -0700
Subject: 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?

Pervez Rizvi was wondering about the following sentence:

        As far as to the sepulchre of Christ -
        Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
        We are impressed and engaged to fight -
                                                            (1.1.19-21)

I'm not an expert in these sorts of things, but I just want to suggest
that "Whose soldier now" and "under whose blessed cross" might both
serve as subjective completion to the verb "are"--i.e., we are his
soldier; we are impressed to fight under his cross.  I'm not sure that
the construction is so much ungrammatical as merely awkward, and this
awkwardness is appropriate to the character who is speaking.  A
compositorial omission of "we are" after "whose soldier now" would
stretch the line to an unusual twelve syllables.

Cheers,
Sean.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Peschko <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 1997 11:46:06 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0656  Textual Problem in 1 Henry IV?

Well, there is a simpler explanation... As above, it stands as 3 lines
of 10 syllables each, whereas grammatically correct it is 12.

Ed
 

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