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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Henry IV, Part 1 Query
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0211  Friday, 24 March 2006

From: 		Michael Luskin <
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Date: 		Thursday, 23 Mar 2006 14:56:23 EST
Subject: 	Henry IV, Part 1 Query

Act III, scene 1 has always seemed curious.  The conspirators meet, 
among other things, to divide up England, plan move rivers to makes 
things more fair, and so forth.  From the very start, Hotspur is rude 
and aggressive towards his allies, and says things that might well 
provoke a duel, or at least a crack in the alliance.

For example, when Glendower says that he can call spirits from the vasty 
deep, Hostspur's funny rejoinder deserves a cup of coffee in his face.

Why is Hotspur so rude and unpleasant, why do the others act like 
anything but allies, why don't they discuss strategy a bit?

One obvious answer is that in fact they could not be allies, their aims 
are too different.  Another is that Shakespeare is using this absurd and 
mordantly funny scene to poke fun at their nutty enterprise, to 
demonstrate it.

I just read Hardy Cook's last post vis a vis the Jewish underpinnings of 
Shakespeare, I am concerned about what an academic question is.  In 
particular, I have no idea if mine is an academic question or not. I 
hope it is.

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