Remember how last week, when discussing Richard’s deformities, we noted that Richard has a tendency to expand upon what others have said?
Continue reading “Memories of Things to Come (or, “Words”)”
The Third Part of Henry the Sixth
- 2904 total lines; longer than average play, shorter than average history (average play: 2777; average history: 3009)
- At 32 lines, Act Four Scene Nine is the shortest of its kind in the Canon
- At 32 lines, Act Four Scene Ten is the longest of its kind in the Canon
- Act One: 582 lines; slightly shorter than average, shorter than average history (average play: 590, average history: 612)
- Act Two: 704 lines; longer than average, longer than average history (average play: 568, average history: 621)
- Act Three: 560 lines; slightly shorter than average, shorter than average history (average play: 576, average history: 632)
- Act Four: 557 lines; slightly shorter than average, shorter than average history (average play: 563, average history: 651)
- Act Five: 501 lines; longer than average, slightly longer than average history (average play: 480, average history: 493)
- only 4 lines of prose (0.14% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, 1HenryVI: 0.37%, and 2HenryVI: 16.64%]): reflecting less non-aristocratic roles; so far the least of any play read
- 156 rhyming lines (5.37% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 20.10%, Titus Andronicus: 2.42%, The Taming of the Shrew: 3.93%, 1HenryVI: 9.79%, and 2HenryVI: 3.16%])
- 25 scenes; more than average (average play: 21; average history: 24)
- 50 characters (more than average, slightly more than average history (average play: 36, average history: 48)
Using Professor Rodes’ midpoint theory, let’s take a look at The Third Part of Henry the Sixth.
There are 2904 lines in the play, which puts the midpoint at line 1452, which is at Act Three, Scene Two, line 66, during Edward’s “wooing” of Lady Grey.
Edward, in exchange for reinstating the Grey titles and lands, has won Elizabeth Woodville’s “love (for) a king” (III.ii.53). Only that is NOT the kind of love this king wants, and as he talks his way around the conversation to the point where she begins to realize that he “mean(s) not as (she) though (he) did” (III.ii.65), Edward says lasciviously, “But now you partly may perceive my mind” (III.ii.66).
This single-line speech is the midpoint of the play as a whole. So why is it important?
Continue reading “Numbers: Midpoint”
As this month-long discussion of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth winds down, let’s take a look at the play in terms of protagonist… as in the plays that precede it, this is a tough question:
Who is the protagonist?
Continue reading “And the Story of Henry the Sixth is the Story of … who?”
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
This week’s podcast includes a wrap up of our month-long discussion of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth, including an overview of the play, a discussion of possible casting, a production concept, and a recap of this week’s blog entries.
1:26 — Text should be “last month’s” instead of “last year’s”
Continue reading “Podcast 25: The Third Part of Henry the Sixth Wrap-Up and Overview”
The Third Part of Henry the Sixth. Third in a sequence, each one building on the one that came before it, continuing motifs set up earlier.
The First Part had Joan la Pucelle, the French witch. The Second Part had Marjorie Jordan, the English witch, and Eleanor Cobham, Jordan’s “employer.” And The Third Part?
There is neither explicit witchcraft nor practitioner here. But there is an implied demon, and that would be (of course) Richard Duke of Gloucester. Throughout the play, what Richard does, others follow; what Richard suggests, other enact.
Continue reading “That Ol’ Black Magic”
In The Third Part of Henry the Sixth, we begin seeing more widely ranging descriptions of Richard Duke of Gloucester’s deformities.
yes, I know, these are not the first descriptions… The Second Part has three references: a stage direction mentioning his “crookback” (V.i.119 stage direction); Clifford calling him a “heap of wrath, foul indigested lump, // As crooked in (his) manners as (his) shape!” (V.i.155-156); and Young Clifford’s description of “Foul stigmatic” (V.i.134)
Continue reading “Visions of Johanna, er, Richard”
Stage directions are a funny thing: they can tell you what to do and when, but if they’re not there, then what? And even when they are there, can they be trusted? (especially since critical opinion is that they–even more than the text itself–is the result of stage managers’ and actors’ memories rather than specified written directions from Shakespeare himself)
Better to stick with the text then, for both stage directions and acting clues. What do I mean? Well, let’s take a gander at some speeches in The Third Part of Henry the Sixth in which the verse forces a pause:
Continue reading “A Pause to Discuss Stage Directions”
[WARNING: This blog entry rated R for sex and language… proceed with caution!]
Allrightythen, it’s time for our monthly excursion into the sophomoric, our trip to Bawdy-ville!
Here are some nuggets:
Continue reading “Richard Knows Where the Bawdy’s Buried”
Funny thing. While sifting through The Third Part of Henry the Sixth on a second go, I found a couple of references to hands that hearken back to Titus Andronicus and its use (and abuse) of limbs. If you remember Titus, Lavinia’s rapists cut off her hands (as well as her tongue) to prevent her from implicating them. Later, under a false offer to release Titus’ two imprisoned sons, Titus, his brother Marcus, and Titus’ other son Lucius, all offer to cut off their hands to win the release. Titus sacrifices his hand to the villain Aaron, but wins no release of his sons.
As in Titus, the references here also refer to mutilation, and here specifically self-mutilation.
Continue reading “Brother, Can You Lend Me a Hand (or two)?”