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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Re: Henry IV (part I) V.iv.11-13
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2588  Monday, 12 November 2001

From:           John Ramsay <
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Date:           Saturday, 10 Nov 2001 11:58:13 -0500
Subject: 12.2553 Re: Henry IV (part I) V.iv.11-13
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2553 Re: Henry IV (part I) V.iv.11-13

> >I think in Act V, Scene iv, Prince Hale absolutely defines himself as a
> >responsible and loyal young man. Hal does not want to leave the
> >battlefield for his tent (even though very injured), saying to
> >Westmoreland that:
>
> He says it's a scratch. All of the productions I have ever seen show it
> as a face or head wound which has already stopped bleeding. He needs to
> catch his breath -- but why would we not take him at his word that it is
> not serious. After all he still has to fight Hotspur where with no one
> watching he really proves to the audience that he has the physical
> courage that a Prince on a battlefield required.
>
> Mary Jane

In the two Stratford Ontario productions I saw, 1960's with Douglas Rain
as Hal and 1970's with Richard Monette, the wound was not serious.

However, the staging of the fight between Hal and Hotspur was different.

Douglas Rain bested the larger Hotspur, Douglas Campbell, in straight
combat.

Richard Monette was getting the worst of it from a smaller but fierce
and determined Hotspur and fell to one knee as if defeated. As Hotspur
wound up to deliver the coup de grace Hal pulled twin daggers from his
boots, rose and fatally stabbed him.

Makes for quite a different interpretation of Hal's character. In one
version he kills Hotspur in open combat, in the other he's kinda sneaky.

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