Shakespeare Born in Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire Father John was prosperous glover and wool merchant, mayor of Stratford Will was educated in local grammar school—some say the equivalent of some college today. Spoke and wrote Latin. May have been a secret Catholic.
Shakespeare Married Anne Hathaway in 1582. He was 18, she, 26 Three children Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith. Hamnet dies young.
Shakespeare’s London By 1592 Shakespeare is an up and coming actor and playwright in London, pop. 150,000
Son of Henry IV—Henry Bolingbroke, usurper of Richard II Prince Hal, of Shakespeare’s Henry IV fame Henry V—the second Lancastrian King, father of Henry VI—War of the Roses Winner of the Battle of Agincourt
Henry V—The History In 1415, Henry’s efforts to secure the crown of France failed, and Henry went to war (Hundred Years War) As he gathered his armies and prepared to embark, he foiled the treasonous Southampton Plot. After securing the critical port of Harfleur in September 1415 in Normandy, Henry’s army was sick (likely with dysentery) and exhausted. He determined to winter and recuperate in the English stronghold at Calais
Henry V--History On his retreat, Henry’s army is cut off by the French who boast vastly superior numbers On October 15, Saint Crispin’s Day, Henry fights and destroys the mighty French army, temporarily securing his claim to the crown, and winning Katherine, daughter of Charles VI as his queen. While the numbers are imprecise, the French losses were staggering, perhaps as high as 10,000 –including many knights and nobles and prisoners killed by the English, while the English, by some accounts, lost as few as 500 The victory is viewed by some as the birth of English nationalism
English Longbow Two years to cure the wood (Yew or Ash) Total construction took four years Sophisticated laminate (composite) Draw 30 inches at 150 lbs. Aimed range 250 yards, unaimed 400 yards Could sometimes penetrate armor Fire rate, six per minute (archers carried up to 72 metal tipped arrows) Skilled archers trained for years
Henry V—The History Shakespeare’s histories and Henry V are heavily influenced by the Tudor (Lancastrian) politics of 1599—Henry was a great Lancastrian hero, and Elizabeth I was eager to promote English nationalism
Henry V--Cast King Henry V, age 29 Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, age 25, brother to the King John, Duke of Bedford, brother to the King, age 26 Edward, Duke of York, age 42, killed at Agincourt. Ironically, his younger brother Richard (Cambridge) was executed for treason immediately before King Henry and his army departed for France, but not before fathering Richard the future Duke of York and arch nemesis of Henry the VI.
Henry V--Cast John Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, age 27, great commander Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, age 51— not actually at Agincourt Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, age 33, future mentor of Henry VI Richard, Earl of Cambridge, age 40, executed for treason
Henry V--Cast Henry Chichele, age 52, Archbishop of Canterbury, powerful ally of the King. Presides at the Cathedral of Canterbury, site of the Martyrdom of Thomas a’ Beckett, and subject of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The most powerful bishop in England
Henry V--Cast John Fordham, The Bishop of Ely, age 75, “Attorney General” for the Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Scroop, Henry Scrope, age 39, a favorite of the King, but betrayed him, the leader of the Southampton Plot, executed in 1415
Henry V--Cast Sir Thomas Grey, age 31, one of the co-conspirators in the Southampton Plot, executed 1415 Sir Thomas Erpingham, 58, commander of the famous English archers at Agincourt Gower, a good captain in Henry’s army Fluellen, a comedic Welsh captain in Henry’s army Macmorris, a comedic Irish captain in Henry’s army Jamy, a Scottish captain John Bates, Alexander Court, Michael Williams, three English soldiers who meet and argue with a disguised Henry the night before Agincourt
Henry V--Cast Pistol, Nym, Bardolph, Boy —comic English soldiers and servant English Herald Charles VI, King of France, age 47
Henry V--Cast Lewis, the Dauphin (like the Prince of Wales, but for France), age 18, died in December 1415 of dysentery John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, age 44, powerful French lord, did not fight at Agincourt, but lost two brothers there, later became Regent for the mentally ill Charles VI
Henry V--Cast Charles, Duke of Orleans, age 21, wounded at Agincourt, and taken prisoner, held hostage in England for 24 years where he became known as an accomplished poet John I, Duke of Bourbon, age 35, captured at Agincourt John VI, Duke of Britaine, age 26, French noble Charles d’Albret, Constable of France, age unknown, as Constable he was second in command to the King and one of the co-commanders at Agincourt where he was killed
Henry V--Cast David, Lord of Rambures, age 51, commander of the French archers, killed at Agincourt Grandpre’, French Lord, Shakespeare’s creation Governor of Harfleur, the “mayor” of the most important port in Normandy, the critical launching point for Henry’s invasion of France in 1415 Montjoy, the French envoy from the King and Constable to Henry Ambassadors to King Henry
Henry V--Cast Isabel of Bavaria, age 45, Queen of France, wife of Charles VI, mother of Katherine of Valois
Henry V--Cast Katherine of Valois, daughter of Charles and Isabel, age 14, later wife of Henry Alice, a lady in waiting to Katherine Hostess Quickly, Pistol’s wife and Sir John Falstaff’s mistress, hostess of a tavern in Eastcheap London Prologue, an anonymous actor to introduce the play Chorus