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The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0284 Thursday, 27 October 2011
Date: October 20, 2011 12:04:56 PM EDT
Subject: Undaunted Queen
Hugh Grady and Paul Barry are quite right; Bardolph appears in four plays.
There’s also a Lord Bardolph in 2H4—maybe a rich cousin, maybe our guy pretending to be a swell? Two of Henry V’s brothers also make it into four plays. Prince John, the gallant maiden warrior of 1H4, returns as the nasty piece of work who tricks the rebels in 2H4, fights at Agincourt in H5, and as Bedford, has the opening lines of 1H6 and dies at the non-historical recapture of Rouen. Brother Humphrey has a brief appearance just before his father’s death in 2H4, fights with his brothers at Agincourt in H5, quarrels with Winchester in 1H6, and as the last champion of the common weal, is murdered in 2H6. Oddly, there is no mention of Humphrey or Bedford being brothers (or brothers to Henry V) in 1H6.
Warwick actually has a claim to appearance in five plays: he comforts the dying king in 2H4, partakes in the military campaign in H5, picks a white rose as an early supporter of Richard of York in 1H6, and becomes the Kingmaker Warwick in 2H6 and 3H6. He dies at the battle of Barnet in the last play, the “bug that feared us all.” Historically, the first three appearances should belong to Richard de Beauchamp, the father-in-law of Richard Neville the Kingmaker, who was not born until 1428. But in 2H4, the King calls him “cousin Nevil” (3.1.66). Perhaps Shakespeare thought there was just one Warwick; perhaps he didn’t care there were two.
There’s also the resident coward of 1H6 whom the Folio invariably calls “Sir John Falstaffe,” but that’s better left for another day.