Remember when we were discussing Act One, Scene One of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, and I commented on Salisbury and Warwick:
Both Salisbury and Warwick (father and son) bemoan the loss of territories won in war (and here Shakespearean history falters again: these two speak as if they were the military Salisbury and Warwick of The First Part… only they are NOT: they are the sons-in-law of their respective title-holders in the first play… remember THAT Salisbury was killed in Act One of the play, and THAT Warwick (in reality) died before the end of the play… THIS Warwick was only 17 years old at the time of Henry and Margaret’s wedding (so in no possible way did he “win them both” [I.i.116] himself).
Let’s explain how all of this went down.
Continue reading “Meet the New Salisbury and Warwick”
A couple of months back, when we were in the midst of The Taming of the Shrew, we discussed the difficulty of the play, especially as it relates to the depiction of women. The play, especially in recent decades, has been seen as a horrible example of dramatic misogyny.
Two months down the line, however, as we find ourselves deep in the Henry the Sixth histories, I see that women actually had it pretty good at Shakespeare’s hands back in Taming, for what have we seen since?
Continue reading “Women in Henry VI: witches and bitches”
As we transition our discussion from The First Part of Henry the Sixth to The Second, it’s probably a pretty good time to revisit the Roadmap. Remember back then, we said
Yeah, I’ve played around a little the with sequencing… but only to keep the tetralogies both in order and consecutive (for example, moving The Merry Wives of Windsor to after Henry V so the four histories are together)
Well, it applies to both last month and this. There is some debate in the literary and academic community as to the sequence of the first tetralogy’s order of composition.
Continue reading “Following the Order”
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This week’s podcast includes a wrap-up of our discussion of The First Part of Henry the Sixth, including a note about production concepts, a few words about casting, and a not-so-critical (or maybe that’s really critical) evaluation of the play. We’ll also take a quick inventory of “the Project” thus far, and do our usual recap of this week’s blog entries.
Continue reading “Podcast 17: The First Part of Henry the Sixth Wrap-Up”
The First Part of Henry the Sixth
- 2677 total lines; shorter than average play, shorter than average history (average play: 2777; average history: 3009)
- At 21 and 5 lines, respectively, Act One Scene Five and Act Three Scene Four are the shortest of their kind in the Canon
- At 31, 41, and 175 lines, respectively, Act One Scene Eight, Act Three Scene Eight, and Act Five Scene Six are the longest of their kind in the Canon
- Act One: 596 lines; longer than average, shorter than average history (average play: 590, average history: 612)
- Act Two: 487 lines; shorter than average, shorter than average history (average play: 568, average history: 621)
- Act Three: 476 lines; shorter than average, shorter than average history (average play: 576, average history: 632)
- Act Four: 557 lines; shorter than average, shorter than average history (average play: 563, average history: 651)
- Act Five: 561 lines; longer than average, longer than average comedy (average play: 480, average history: 493)
- Only 10 lines of prose (only .37% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, and The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%])
- 262 rhyming lines (9.79% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 20.10%, Titus Andronicus: 2.42%, and The Taming of the Shrew: 3.93%])
- 35 scenes; more than average (average play: 21; average history: 24)
Using Professor Rodes’ midpoint theory, let’s take a look at The First Part of Henry the Sixth.
There are 2677 lines in the play, which puts the midpoint at line 1339, which is at Act Three, Scene Five, line 12.
Continue reading “Numbers: Midpoint (Cue the Extreme tune…)”
… is the central character, our protagonist?
As we noted yesterday, the structure of this particular history (The First Part of Henry the Sixth) is quite episodic (as we move through the canon, we’ll see if this is standard for all histories), and one that allows for the lack of a central figure (and again, we’ll see how this compares to the other histories… but having read Henry V, 1 Henry IV, and both Richards, I know that those histories can and do have strong protagonists (though that character may not always be the title character).
Continue reading “Who?”
Remember about three and a half months ago, when we were discussing comedy vs. tragedy, and the Aristotelian unities of action and time? Back then, we said that a play (for it to fit into the Aristotelian view of drama) must be of a single action:
one when the object imitated is one, so the plot, being an imitation of an action, must imitate one action and that a whole, the structural union of the parts being such that, if any one of them is displaced or removed, the whole will be disjointed and disturbed. For a thing whose presence or absence makes no visible difference, is not an organic part of the whole.
-- Aristotle, Poetics
Continue reading “Shakespeare: Screenplays before Movies?”
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This week’s podcast includes another DVD review for The First Part of Henry the Sixth, plus a recap of this week’s blog entries.
Continue reading “Podcast 16: The First Part of Henry the Sixth DVD Review, Part Two”