The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1965 Thursday, 9 August 2001
Date: Tuesday, 7 Aug 2001 14:02:34 -0500
Subject: The late "displeasing play"
This has probably been asked, but I'm new:
At the end of 2 Henry IV, the author speaks a charming epilogue in which
he presents Part Two as compensation for a "displeasing play" that was
recently performed on their stage. My Bevington edition states that "no
satisfactory identification has ever been made," which I take at face
value. But what about unsatisfactory identifications? Does anyone have
a clue, or even a wild speculation?
Shakespeare's apology is so fulsome I wonder if it was meant to cover
not only the previous play (which must have been a real stinker), but
also the present one. Might he have been seeking to forestall any
audience disappointment over Falstaff's quick comedown? Just a thought.
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