Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
Henry V Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0368  Monday, 9 February 2004

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 6 Feb 2004 06:58:59 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0342 Henry V Question

[2]     From:   Thomas Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 6 Feb 2004 15:51:33 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0342 Henry V Question

[3]     From:   Arthur Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 7 Feb 2004 10:00:31 +0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0342 Henry V Question

[4]     From:   Norman Hinton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 07 Feb 2004 15:34:46 -0600
        Subj:   Subj: RE: SHK 15.0328 Henry V Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 6 Feb 2004 06:58:59 -0800
Subject: 15.0342 Henry V Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0342 Henry V Question

Edward Brown says that

        As far as I know, Henry V had
        not a drop of Welsh blood in him.

Fluellen, of course, knows differently, though he seems to be confusing
the right of blood with the right of soil.

Yrs,
Sean.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 6 Feb 2004 15:51:33 -0700
Subject: 15.0342 Henry V Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0342 Henry V Question

Every once in a while an exchange on SHAKSPER is provocative because of
its representational aspects.  The exchanges sent by Mr. Hawkes and Mr.
  Brown on the 5th and 6th on this thread stand as a kind of synecdoche
of the state of current Shakespearean criticism.

Oh well.  Such superfluous musings aside, I want to voice my support for
Mr. Hawkes interpretation.  Being born at Monmouth historically or as a
literary character was indeed a complex fate.  Further, with regards to
Mr. Brown's suggestion, it's worth mentioning that irony could be a
particularly dangerous attitude in the Elizabethan court, something
which survivors obviously knew.

Another way of looking at the line, is in the context of simply choosing
which way to deliver the line in performance.  Obviously, it can and
probably has been played both ways.  Nevertheless, which reading would
you prefer?  I much prefer an ideal king who demonstrates the strength
of his identification with his subjects by such a statement than the
alternative.  I don't need to see the dark side of medieval kingship
inflected on Henry V; the Henry VI plays, Richard III, Macbeth, Edward
II are quite sufficient, thanks anyway.

Last point.  Henry was indeed born at Monmouth and as anyone who was
born or raised in a foreign country knows, there is a part of you bound
to that place.  I simply believe King Henry, god bless him.

-Thomas Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 7 Feb 2004 10:00:31 +0800
Subject: 15.0342 Henry V Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0342 Henry V Question

I suppose the simplest way of putting it is that Henry professes to be
virtually everything: Welsh to the Welsh, plain English to his local
troops (except when they come from the Celtic fringe).  As soon as he
finishes doing his simple Englishman number on Katherine he will tell
her family that he's French.  If a Jew wandered in, he'd start speaking
Yiddish. The resemblance to certain current politicians has been duly
noted in the recent National Theatre production.

There's a nice moment in the wooing scene, by the way, when Alice
catches him translating _baiser_ while pretending not to speak French.

Arthur Lindley

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman Hinton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 07 Feb 2004 15:34:46 -0600
Subject: SHK 15.0328 Henry V Question
Comment:        Subj: RE: SHK 15.0328 Henry V Question

Those of us who study the history of English shouldn't be, but are often
surprised at what passes for information in "common knowledge"....

Henry IV is generally called "the first English king whose native
language was English" (cf. Richard Barber,  _The English Language: An
Historical Introduction_, Cambridge U. Press), and the knowledge that
Henry V wrote and spoke English has long been cited in histories of the
language.  His personal letters are in English -- though written by
scribes, they are signed by him.

And in 1422, the brewers of London passed a formal motion adopting
English as their official language, which included the following:

...our most excellent lord king Henry the Fifth hath, in his letters
missive and divers affairs touching his own person, more willingly
chosen to declare the secrets of his will in English; and for the better
understanding of his people hath, with a diligent mind, procured the
common idiom (setting aside others)....

In

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.