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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: June ::
Re: Henry VI, pt 1
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0955  Tuesday, 8 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Jun 1999 12:29:48 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0951 Henry VI, pt 1

[2]     From:   Dana Wilson <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 Jun 1999 15:25:36 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Henry VI, pt 1


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 07 Jun 1999 12:29:48 +0000
Subject: 10.0951 Henry VI, pt 1
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0951 Henry VI, pt 1

Dana Wilson writes:

>Reading Henry VI, pt 1 last night, I was confused by the "victory" of
>Joan Pucelle in Act, I, v.  In line 15, she tells Talbot to overtake her
>if he can, this says to me that it was she who retreated.

Not necessarily.  "Overtake" can mean "surpass", as in "do better than
me if you can" rather than "catch me if you can."  The latter seems to
imply a very different type of warfare from that practiced in the
period.

>In H6.1, I, I, 75, we are told that Orleans had fallen to the French.
>In H6.1, I, III, 1-10, Charles tells how the English siege is so faint
>that he is to lay near by Orleans.  Were as in I,v,36, Talbot proclaims
>that Joan has entered the city.  This suggests to me that the French
>were pushed out of their camp by the city and forced to take refuge with
>in the city walls.

Not at all.  Counter-sieges were quite common in the early modern
period.  Basically, it works like this-a garrison, in a fortress, is
besieged; a relief force arrives to succour the fortress garrison; the
besiegers defend themselves, sometimes even with fortifications, against
the relief force; the relief force ends up besieging the besiegers.  So
we end up with two zones of contact, arranged like a target around the
fortress itself:  first, the area of contact between the garrison and
the besiegers, including the fortress walls, and various siege
fortifications; second, and enclosing this first area of contact, is the
area of contact between the besiegers, with their fortifications, and
the relief force, also putting up siege fortifications.  We can see a
modern parallel in the double-siege of Stalingrad, where the Russians
under Chukhoi (spelling?) were besieged by the German sixth army under
Paulus, which in turn was besieged by the double-envelopment of
Operation Uranus commanded by Zhukhov.

So, in the example you've given, the French take Orl

 

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