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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: August ::
Archbishop's Speech, Henry V
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1391  Thursday, 25 August 2005

[1] 	From: 	Jack Heller <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 09:18:22 -0500 (EST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V

[2] 	From: 	Robert Projansky <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 25 Aug 2005 03:28:17 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jack Heller <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 09:18:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V

The problem of the archbishop's speech seems especially to call for 
performance considerations. I've seen the play staged four or five times 
(including a good staging a week ago at the University of Notre Dame), 
and the stage solution seems to be: The archbishop's argument is crap, 
and everyone seems to know it. But it is also a useful pretense made all 
the better by the arrival of snide French ambassadors. Insult seems to 
be the precipitating cause for Henry's war.

Jack Heller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Robert Projansky <
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Date: 		Thursday, 25 Aug 2005 03:28:17 -0700
Subject: 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V

Non-repair of the Archbishop's errors is interesting? No more 
interesting than why editors don't correct Dogberry's mistakes, or Elbow's.

The errors in the Archbishop of Canterbury's speech are plainly WS's 
intention. As clear as is the summer's sun, this comic speech is 
intended to show the A of C as a shameless gasbag as he grinds the 
political axe he's already told us about in the previous scene. To sell 
his sovereign on a French war he pitches him all the baloney he can 
find. The Archbishop's lame arithmetic and his dizzyingly nonsensical 
comic history pageant (and I am sure names like Blithild, Pepin, and 
Ermengare sounded as amusing then as now) show the audience that he's 
full of it. The historical accuracy of which French king he's talking 
about or of anything else he says is utterly beside the point. Trying to 
correct him at all is just a mistake.

Bob Projansky

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