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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: January ::
Re: Welsh in Henry IV
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0156  Wednesday, 24 January 2001

[1]     From:   Manuela Rossini <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Jan 2001 16:46:44 +010-
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0138 Re: Welsh in Henry IV

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Jan 2001 12:27:29 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 12.0138 Re: Welsh in Henry IV


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Manuela Rossini <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Jan 2001 16:46:44 +010-
Subject: 12.0138 Re: Welsh in Henry IV
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0138 Re: Welsh in Henry IV

Dear Ann Carrigan

You write that

>Shakespeare, of course, used the language barrier between Katherine and
>Henry V in a more comic-romantic vein.

Maybe films like SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and Branagh's HENRY V (with its
close-up of the kissing ex-spouses) might have led you to this
assessment about the Bard's intentions. My reading is less charming.
Throughout the scene Henry speaks "plain soldier" - and we know what
this means not only since the atrocities committed in ex-Yugoslavia.
Like all colonizers, he speaks his native tongue (although -
historically - he mastered French).  Katherine is clearly at a
linguistic disadvantage and already in the scene of her English lesson
she learns "how to translate her body into language accessible to the
English", as Sinfield/Dollimore observe. That the wooing-scene is framed
by the rape threats to the Harfleur "maidens" doesn't help to make the
private encounter with the French princess more "comic-romantic".

Kind regards,
Manuela Rossini

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Jan 2001 12:27:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Welsh in Henry IV
Comment:        SHK 12.0138 Re: Welsh in Henry IV

Jack Heller tells of a memorable

'Shakespeare session at the MLA, when Philip Schwyzer of Oxford
presented a good paper on Welsh in Henry V'.

Very short too, presumably.

T. Hawkes
 

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