The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0855  Monday, 16 April 2001

From:           Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Apr 2001 06:28:27 EDT
Subject: 12.0836 Re: Feathers
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0836 Re: Feathers

<< Incidentally, I have cited those instances in the order in which it
 now assumed they were written i.e. that 1H6 was written after 2H6 and
 3H6.  I am prepared to go along with this, but 2H6 still seems rather a
 strange place to start a saga: it would be like beginning Star Wars
 Episode IV... >>

Can't help but put in a two pennisworth on the above. There is surely
little reason to suppose that 1HVI was written after 2HVI except for a
few loose arguments from JDW concerning missing plot elements connecting
1 & 2 and the difficulty some critics have had in finding the parts
Shakespeare wrote of Part One (or see below). The difficulty is chiefly
one of Shakespeare obsession - if the play was not written by the bard
(or only partially) then its inconsistencies become more explicable and
the problems with its date fade. It has always seemed strange to me that
proponents of the saga inversion theory seem to ignore the fact there is
no record of Contention or True Tragedy before 1594/5 while "a" Henry VI
play is mentioned by Nashe in 1592 and by Henslowe c.1592. Clearly the
only way that 2HVI could be written as the "start" of a saga is if there
was already a  version or awareness of "part One"  (though this may not
be the "1HVI" we now have). There are actually quite a few options:

(1) 1HVI is not the same as "Harey the VI" in Henslowe and is a
re-writing of
that former play (like King Lear for King Leir) thus making possible the
later but still improbable priority of 2HVI (the question remains for
the chronology issue - Who wrote it? )

2)  1HVI was not written by Shakespeare (or less of it than is usually
supposed is his) thus making the JDW irregularities less difficult and
the natural sequence (1-3) more plausible

3) 2HVI was written by Shakespeare after the collaborative effort of
1HVI and he ignores or forgets plots not his own (Talbot?)

4) 2HVI was also collaborative, written after collaborative 1HVI and
Sh's part in it larger than 1HVI but not enough to unify the play with

5) Collaborative 1HVI written after 2HVI fails to unify plot with 2HVI
because of confusion of disparate authors.

6) Shakespeare writes 1HVI (following "harey the VI") after 2HVI and
still fails to unify its plot with 2HVI

7) 1HVI written by Shakespeare following Harey the VI, two years before
Contention and True Tragedy and twenty years before the revised 2HVI and
3HVI (which still fail to unify their plots with 1HVI)

(There are more options but they become tedious)


S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

Subscribe to Our Feeds


Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.