Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: April ::
New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0889  Friday, 16 April 2004

[1]     From:   Dan Smith <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 13:26:06 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0871 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon

[2]     From:   Frank Whigham <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 09:30:38 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0881 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon

[3]     From:   Richard Burt <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 14:30:21 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0881 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dan Smith <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 13:26:06 +0100
Subject: 15.0871 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0871 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon

I defer to Don Bloom's scholarship and I concede that an Elizabethan
audience used to public executions featuring theatrically staged
evisceration may have been more prepared to admire as resolute strength
what an overeducated modern moraliser might call ruthless cruelty.
However, I am far from convinced that Shakespeare has unalloyed
admiration for his strong men. When I read Marlowe I think I detect an
admiration for his over-reaching heroes that I don't find in Shakespeare.

 >Shakespeare presents true fighting men as admirable until
 >they do something (such as murdering a king, a wife or a friend) that
 >causes their downfall

It is certainly true that men like Falstaff, Sir Andrew Aguecheek or
Henry VI who are not prepared to fight are shown as emasculated,
contemptible figures. However, surely the point is that the major
fighting "heroes" in Shakespeare (Macbeth, Othello, Achilles) do cross
that line and valour doesn't equal virtue in Shakespeare.  Even in
comedies such as Alls Well, Bertram is shown as both courageous and a
complete weasel. Shakespeare's Richard III is no coward either, despite
his nocturnal fears before Bosworth.

I think that part of the reason that Henry V is interesting is that his
status as hero or tyrant is ambiguous. Hal can be played as a hero by
cutting the execution of the prisoners (which might not have troubled
the Elizabethans), suggesting that the threats at Harfleur are merely
bluff and downplay or cut the Duke of Burgundy's speech about the
ravages of war on the land (V.ii). Equally, the NT Henry V last year
left Adrian Lester with the difficult job of engaging the audience
playing a hollow fixer. I think perhaps an ideal production might divide
the audience's opinion about Hal (much as we are divided in this
discussion perhaps). I think what rattled the bars of this moraliser,
and perhaps some others, was the initial likeness of George W with Henry
V as though Hal was an uncomplicated hero.  The issue of Henry V (but
not Troilus) to troops as though it was an unalloyed martial argument
bothers me also.

I agree with Don Bloom that Prince Hal and George W. Bush have almost
nothing in common. George W recent speech "We are carrying out a
decision that has already been made and will not change" again reminds
me rather more of "The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft" (Lear
I,1.151) and leaves me with the same sickening anticipation of what
follows.

Dan Smith

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frank Whigham <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 09:30:38 -0500
Subject: 15.0881 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0881 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon

A post that instantiates the kind of thinking it pillories. Ho hum indeed.

Frank Whigham

 >>People nowadays, especially of the class that constitutes the highly
 >>educated, are often antagonistic toward this type. They / we may be
 >>morally right in holding this antagonism
 >
 >They may also be morally wrong. They may even be . . .impaired. Their
 >"relevant" "education" has, essentially, cored out their heads and left
 >only a set of inane and unquestioned imperatives, chief among which that
 >they are the good people, and that no matter how nit-witted their
 >positions, they are "morally right." Up the Revolution, free the people,
 >save the whales, yada yada yada. The gulag cometh.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 14:30:21 -0400
Subject: 15.0881 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0881 New Henry V Film Coming Out Soon

Given the total fiasco in Iraq, I wonder if new comparisons between
Henry and Bush will be made--George senior will be HV, while W will be
the moronic HVI who lost it all.

_______________________________________________________________
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.