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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: King John
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1307  Thursday, 31 May 2001

From:           John Jowett <
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Date:           Thursday, 31 May 2001 09:36:24 GMT
Subject: 12.1279 King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1279 King John

Jack Heller asks where Prince Henry in King John has been until the last
scenes.  One kind of answer, in terms of the economy of the Elizabethan
theatre, is that the boy actor of Henry has been playing another role.
By the end of the play, the other boy, Arthur, and all the women are
dead.  When I saw Northern Broadsides production in Halifax, Yorkshire,
earlier this year, I realised that this may be a case where the doubling
of roles became a matter of significance.  In this staging, the same
actor played Arthur and Henry.  The effect is to make Henry not simply
the unexpected legitimate son of the illegitimate king but also, in
body, a continuation of the dispossessed rival whom even the Bastard
recognises as the rightful king.

John Jowett

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