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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Launce and Crab
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2464  Friday, 2 January 2004

From:           Michael Egan <
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Date:           Thursday, 1 Jan 2004 12:17:45 -1000
Subject: 14.2460 Launce and Crab
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2460 Launce and Crab

I cannot resist calling readers' attention to the fact that 1 Richard II
(aka Woodstock) features an extended colloquy between Woodstock and a
horse, clearly exploiting the same humorous possibilities. Tillyard
comments: "I doubt if Woodstock would have talked to the courtier's
horse he is given to hold unless Launce had previously talked to his
dog,' (Shakespeare's History Plays, p. 123) but (a) the episode in 1
Richard II is much more developed and comedically richer and (b) it
doesn't really matter which came first since the comic genius is plainly
the same.

Readers might also like to consider the implications of having a horse
(as opposed to a dog) on stage. My view is that 1 Richard II may have
been originally intended for the provincial tour, i.e., conceived for
outdoors performance.

--Michael Egan

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