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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
Bilingual Rulers of England
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0354  Monday, 9 February 2004

From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Friday, 6 Feb 2004 09:38:06 -0500
Subject: 15.0313 Bilingual Rulers of England
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0313 Bilingual Rulers of England

 >The  latter would make the English lesson in
 >Henry V (Act 3, scene 4) and the wooing scene (Act V, scene 2) good
 >drama but bad history.  Do I have all this right?
 >
 >David Cohen

Not only that, but Hal spent much more of his dad's money on sack and
dissolute companions in Calais than in Cheapside (perhaps he always had
a thing for French gowns). As to good drama, doesn't anyone think the
200 lines of wooing is way too long and tortuous for a done deal? Isn't
this Tom Sawyer/Becky Thatcher stuff a little embarrassing when we know
that this was an arranged political marriage? There is no such episode
in Holinshed, and it seems unlikely that any prenuptial meeting between
the two would be more than a brief formality. Strange for a play
ostensibly struggling to show "the warlike Harry, like himself."

Clifford Stetner
CUNY

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