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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: January ::
I Henry IV
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0174  Thursday, 25 January 2001

From:           Megan S. Lloyd <
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Date:           Wednesday, 24 Jan 2001 17:21:55 -0500
Subject:        I Henry IV

Ann Carrigan's description of the Orlando-UCF Shaks Fest IHIV reminded
me of the difficulties in translation and language acquisition some
Welsh faced once the Tudors came to power. In a paper I delivered at
this year's Sixteenth Century conference, ("The Lady Speaks in Welsh":
Lady Mortimer and Tudor Policy in Shakespeare's I Henry IV) I examined
how Lady Mortimer embodies these language issues.  For me Lady Mortimer
illustrates the act of translation that occurred in the many
intermarriages of the period, as well as the translation and
interpretation that took place in the Welsh courts as a result of Tudor
language policies.   The Acts of Union in 1536 and 1542, among other
things, commanded "utterly to extirpe alle and singuler the sinister
usages" of the Welsh language. Later, Elizabeth's 1563 Act to translate
the Bible into Welsh ordered that next to the Welsh Bible in every
church be placed an English Bible and prayer book so that the Welsh
might sooner learn the English language. The very existence of these
acts indicates the Welsh language had to be dealt.  Like the Welsh
language she represents, Lady Mortimer also demands attention, from the
audience, from others on stage, and from those through the ages who have
had to focus on and resolve what to do with her character, even if that
has meant excising or altering her part.
 

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