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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: let slip the dogs of war
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0883  Friday, 9 May 2003

[1]     From:   Steve Sohmer <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 May 2003 11:18:28 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0877 let slip the dogs of war

[2]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Thursday, 08 May 2003 12:56:50 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0877: let slip the dogs of war

[3]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Thursday, 08 May 2003 23:30:53 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0877 let slip the dogs of war


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Sohmer <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 May 2003 11:18:28 EDT
Subject: 14.0877 let slip the dogs of war
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0877 let slip the dogs of war

Dear Friends,

With respect, I say to Brian Willis that if H5 is an anti-war document,
why then Machiavelli was just kidding his prince. Indeed, when K.
Brannagh characterized his movie H5 as an anti-war document the
professional publicists here in La-la-land fell about in gales of
laughter (at least those noting such matters). There are actual anti-war
plays, Aristophanes' "Lysistrata" and D. Rabe's "Sticks and Bones" being
two. Shakespeare also wrote an anti-war play, "Troilus and Cressida."  I
think it does these and H5 a disservice to suggest that play's renewed
popularity has ought to do with opinion against the war in Iraq. Read
the polls. Americans love going into a war seen as virtuous, however
ghastly the consequences.

H5 is a rollicking, two-fisted shoot-em-up (with moments of pathos,
granted). It is also, shrewdly, Shakespeare's deconstruction of the
self-styled "Christian king." I have always suspected the play was
commissioned by Essex and/or his faction ... as it conveniently
premiered at The Curtain within days of The Great Man sailing for
Ireland on 27 March 1599.

Hope this helps.

Steve

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Thursday, 08 May 2003 12:56:50 -0500
Subject: 14.0877: let slip the dogs of war
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0877: let slip the dogs of war


Yes, H5 ran nonstop on London stages in First and Second World Wars.
Played then as an US AGAINST THEM play.  Then during the Viet Nam War it
was regularly done in the U.S. in Army fatigues as an anti-war play.
Curious how easily one can make a Sh. play onstage mean opposite things
with the same text. . . . Bush certainly has busied giddy minds with
foreign quarrels.  Today's paper lead story is about nukes in Iran.
Sigh.

Pax,
JWV

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Thursday, 08 May 2003 23:30:53 -0700
Subject: 14.0877 let slip the dogs of war
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0877 let slip the dogs of war

Brian Willis wrote.

>Has anybody noticed that Henry V is probably the most performed
>Shakespeare play this summer?

Reminds me of the plethora of OTHELLO's after the OJ trial.  Just proves
that Shakespeare really is a writer for all ages.

Susan.

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