The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0327  Wednesday, 7 December 2011


From:         Mark Alcamo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         December 6, 2011 9:12:45 PM EST

Subject:      Once More … Ironic Henry V


Awhile back I posted some items that I'd observed with Henry V that I believed were both interesting and helped shore up the Ironic Read/interpretation of the play.  It didn't seem the subject resonated in the forum at that time, which was no problem for me, but I have now posted my website and want to ensure accuracy in my attributions as well as ensuring I've taken all the applicable commentary into consideration.


Specifically, I discern (believe) the fact that the 'Once more unto the breach' speech is essentially male masturbatory language is significant.  (To me as a soldier, being compelled to charge into the breach, and then realizing the King is actually masturbating, is bad for morale).


Can anyone provide References addressing a discussion of the masturbatory language of the speech as well as the subsequent (more profoundly ironic) parody,


Bardolph: On, on, on, on, on, to the breach, to the breach.


Nim: 'Pray thee Corporall stay, the Knocks are too 

hot: and for mine owne part, I haue not a Case of Liues: 

the humor of it is too hot, that is the very plaine-Song 

of it. 


The on, on, on, etc. now representing the King's ejaculations and the humor of it being too hot, etc. all consistent with a sublime sense of irony.


I would appreciate any cites providing more insight on this issue …


Evermore Thanks,

Mark Alcamo

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