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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Harfleur
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0410  Tuesday, 9 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Monday, 08 Mar 1999 11:59:33 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Henry V

[2]     From:   J. H. McWilliams <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 9 Mar 1999 10:07:41 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0402 Re: Harfleur


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Monday, 08 Mar 1999 11:59:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Henry V

It's important to note the conversation between MacMorris and Fluellen
before Henry's horrific speech at the gates of Harfleur. The
conversation reveals that Henry has countermanded the order to blow up
the town (see 3.2.87-112), and is giving Harfleur once last chance to
surrender. He is trying to use rhetoric instead of arms "to save the
blood on either side," just as he tried to do in 1 Henry IV. The final
irony, of course, is that the Dauphine causes the town to surrender
because he did not arrive with fresh troops on time. Oh, those French!

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J. H. McWilliams <
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Date:           Tuesday, 9 Mar 1999 10:07:41 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 10.0402 Re: Harfleur
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0402 Re: Harfleur

Re: David Evett's analysis of the Harfleur speech...

Sorry if I'm coming in on a pro vs anti Henry debate half way through,
but I'm not sure if the fact that the Harfleur speech is 'just
realistic' AND a standard thing to say 'since Homer' in any way detracts
from the terrifying power and superabundant cruelty of the speech (and
you don't say it does, it's true). As I recall, it just goes on, and on,
and on, and I always imagine the governor being convinced pretty quickly
that he won't try his luck against this lunatic, but Henry just ranting
on for ages anyway. Is he enjoying it? It could be played that way,
perhaps, if a director was 'anti-Henry'.

Best,
John McWilliams
University of Bristol
 

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