I didn’t know…

In Act One, Scene One of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, Gloucester describes Suffolk as the one who “rules the roast” (I.i.106).  I had always heard the term “rule the roost,” as in a hen-house, to describe a man who ruled over his household (but not having huge power).  It seems that the latter term is derived from the former which has the meaning “to have full sway or authority; to be master” (Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM [v. 4.0]).  If to rule the roast is to dominate, to sit at the head of the table of, a grand opulent palace, then to rule the roost would be much less.

of no import… just kinda interesting…

Meet the New Salisbury and Warwick

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.
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Love’s Labor’s Lost Review (short version)

Saturday night, I took my wife Lisa and our “daughter” (a former student of Lisa’s and current doctoral candidate in English at UCLA [Lisa’s and my alma mater]) up to Santa Barbara’s Granada Theater for a performance of the Shakespeare’s Globe’s touring production of Love’s Labor’s Lost.
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Podcast 19: The Second Part of Henry the Sixth (The second part of the plot)

This week’s podcast includes a continuation of our discussion of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, including a plot synopsis of the second half of the play, and our usual recap of this week’s blog entries.
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Women in Henry VI: witches and bitches

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?
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Shakespeare’s English Succession of Kings: a reminder

just wanted to remind you about the

The Bill / Shakespeare Project:
Shakespeare’s English Succession of Kings

I still haven’t gotten around to publishing play-specific PDFs of family trees… just haven’t had the time (and I’m not sure when that WON’T be the case)…

Regardless, I hope this Flash page helps with your reading of The Second Part of King Henry VI

Audience Showcard

As I ready myself for Saturday’s trip up to Santa Barbara to see the Globe Theatre’s touring production of Love’s Labor’s Lost at the Granada Theater, I’ve been doing a quick inventory of the plays I’ve seen…
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Act Five: the Duke of York’s First Claim Unto the Crown

Act Five, Scene One of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth begins with the entrance of Richard Duke of York and his army onto an open field between St. Albans and London.  Richard makes his intention plain to his followers: “From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right, // And pluck the crown from feeble Henry’s head” (V.i.1-2).  Buckingham arrives as a messenger from King Henry, desiring to know York’s reason for raising an army; York, seemingly realizing that he cannot mount a full rebellion yet, states his cause is “to remove proud Somerset from the king, // Seditious to his grace and to the state” (V.i.36-37).  When Buckingham tells York that Somerset is already in the Tower of London, York immediately disbands his army and sends them off, agreeing to give Henry not only his “fealty and love” (V.i.50), but that of his sons as well, as long as Somerset is put to death.  Buckingham commends York’s “submission” (V.i.54), and tells Henry as much when he arrives with his attendants a few lines later.
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