The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0463 Wednesday, 18 February 2004
Date: Tuesday, 17 Feb 2004 14:35:57 -0000
Subject: 15.0383 Bilingual Rulers of England
Comment: RE: SHK 15.0383 Bilingual Rulers of England
>I've always felt that Henry's behaviour was somewhat cruel.
The wooing Henry "Clap hands and a bargain" V,2,3141 sounds like a man
buying a horse to ride. Similarly "If I could win a lady at leap-frog,
or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour on my back...I should
quickly leap into a wife." It sounds like Petruchio - "I will be master
of what is mine own-She is my goods, my chattels, she is my house, My
household stuff, my field, my barn, My horse, my ox, my ass, my any
thing," (II,2,1599). Henry is making (calculated?) insults that make a
symmetry with the Dauphin's gift of Paris balls. I think that the length
of the wooing and her reticence raises the question of whether he will
resort to the constraint of Petruchio. Instead he moderates his language
and Henry and his Kate reach an understanding. I have never seen this
played as though Henry were Petruchio. Northern Broadside's production
last year was the bluntest wooing I have seen but stopped short.
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