2005

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0430  Tuesday, 8 March 2005

From:           Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 5 Mar 2005 15:08:26 -0000
Subject: 16.0412 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0412 Date of King John

Michael Egan writes ...

 >Peter Bridgman and Jack Heller assert that KJ is only superficially
 >anti-Catholic (as opposed to profoundly). The distinction escapes me:
 >it's an anti-Catholic play.

The distinction might not escape Michael Egan if he realises that, at
this stage in his career, WS could not choose his writing gigs.  Part of
his job with the Chamberlain's Men was to rewrite old items from the
company's play book.  In rewriting the old KJ, WS threw out the bigotry
and turned John Foxe's hero into a tyrant.  The play would not have
survived (or been performed) if WS had gone any further in this direction.

Peter Bridgman

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