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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
1 Henry IV Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0513  Tuesday, 24 February 2004

From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Sunday, 22 Feb 2004 14:11:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        1 Henry IV Questions


I've been reading Gary Hamilton and David Scott Kastan on
Falstaff/Oldcastle recently. At issue is whether Oldcastle's
transformation into Falstaff indicates a Catholic, Anglican, or some
other kind of moderate Protestant bias. What occurs to me as I read
these is that Hotspur should figure into any consideration of the
religious politics of this play. Hotspur's naturalistic rejection of
Glendower's omens, and if Prince Hal's attachment to Falstaff is
problematic, what about King Henry's expressed admiration of Hotspur?
Can any direct me to an article that considers Hotspur along with the
contextualized readings of Oldcastle/Falstaff?

I am also wondering what the early sources are for supposing that Queen
Elizabeth wanted to see Falstaff in love (or indeed had any interest in
Falstaff at all). And an adjunct question: if Shakespeare changed
Oldcastle to Falstaff to ameliorate noble or royal opposition, what is
indicated politically that the queen would thereafter want a sequel on

Jack Heller
Huntington College

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