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Henry IV Part One and the Ideology of Control. Shakespeare turned Henry into a box-office hero and a romantic lead. The myth became more important than.

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Presentation on theme: "Henry IV Part One and the Ideology of Control. Shakespeare turned Henry into a box-office hero and a romantic lead. The myth became more important than."— Presentation transcript:

1 Henry IV Part One and the Ideology of Control

2 Shakespeare turned Henry into a box-office hero and a romantic lead. The myth became more important than the man. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

3 As Shakespeare wrote it, The Chronicle History of Henry the Fifth is an intensely masculine, simple, sanguine drama of kinghood and war. Its more eloquent theme is a young king's coming of age. Once an endearingly wild Prince of Wales, Henry V (at 28) had to prove his worthiness for the scepter by leading his army in war. He invaded France, England's longtime enemy. He captured Harfleur, then tried to withdraw his exhausted and vastly outnumbered army to Calais. The French confronted him at Agincourt. In one of Shakespeare's most stirring verbal sonnets, Henry urged his soldiers on to incredible victory.... With victory came the courtly peacemaking at Rouen, and Henry’s triumphant courtship of the French Princess Katherine. James Agee, Review of Henry V, dir. Laurence Olivier, Time Magazine, 8 April, 1946

4 I know thee not, old man, fall to thy prayers. How ill white hairs becomes a fool and jester! I have long dreamt of such a kind of man, So surfeit-swell’d, so old, and so profane; But being awak’d, I do despise my dream. Make less thy body (hence) and more thy grace, Leave gormandizing, know the grave doth gape For thee thrice wider than for other men. Reply not to me with a fool-born jest, Presume not that I am the thing I was, For God doth know, so shall the world perceive, That I have turn’d away my former self; So will I those that kept me company. Henry IV Part Two, 5.5.47-59

5 And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus; and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?.. And he was there [Damascus] three days, without sight, and he did neither eat nor drink. Acts 9.3-9

6 In his youthe he had bene wylde recheles and spare nothyng of his lustes ne desires... but as sonne as he was crouned enoynted and sacred anone sodenly he was chaunged in to a new man. Anon. chronicle, 15th cent. (BL Cotton MS Claudius A.8)

7 In his youthe he had bene wylde recheles and spare nothyng of his lustes ne desires... but as sonne as he was crouned enoynted and sacred anone sodenly he was chaunged in to a new man. Anon. chronicle, 15th cent. (BL Cotton MS Claudius A.8) After [Henry IV’s] death the prince... called to him a vertuous Monke of hholie conursacion, to whome he confessed himselfe of all his offences, trespasses and insolencies of times past. And in all things at that time he reformed and amended his life and his manners. Titus Livius, The First English Life of King Henry the Fifth

8 Hal’s “redemption” is as inescapable and inevitable as the outcome of those practical jokes the madcap prince is so fond of playing. Indeed, the play insists, this redemption is not something toward which the action moves but something that is happening at every moment of the theatrical representation. Stephen Greenblatt, ‘Invisible bullets’

9 Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wond’red at By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapors that did seem to strangle him. 1.2.197-203

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12 Beholde I sende you forthe as shepe amonge wolves. Be ye therfore wyse as serpentes and innocent as doves. Beware of men for they shall deliver you vp to the counsels and shall scourge you in their synagoges. And ye shall be brought to the heed of rulers and kynges for my sake in witnes to them and to the gentyls. Matthew 10.16-18 (trans. William Tyndale)

13 All snakes can be coiled and twisted, thus their name (anguis) because they are always angular and never straight. Snakes (serpens) are also so called because they move with hidden steps, using small exertions of their scales. Snakes have as many poisons as there are kinds; cause as many deaths as there are species; resulting in as many griefs as they have colours... Snakes have a certain sharpness of sense; as is said in Genesis (3:1) "The snake was wiser than all the beasts of the earth". Isidore of Seville (7th cent.), Etymologies, 12.4 Snakes usually travel in mated pairs, and if one of the pair is killed the other will go to great lengths to take revenge on the killer, finding him even in crowds, traversing great distances and overcoming all obstacles, being stopped only by rivers. Pliny the Elder (1st cent.), Natural History, 8.35

14 Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wond’red at By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapors that did seem to strangle him. 1.2.197-203

15 I know you all, and will a while uphold The unyok’d humour of your idleness, Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wond’red at By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapors that did seem to strangle him. 1.2.197-203


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