Happy Halloween…

Dress up as your fave Shakespearean character!

A post-transformation Bottom is always fun! (of course, Caesar means togas…)

Have a great one, and see you tomorrow for the final podcast on 1HenryVI….

1HenryVI by the Numbers: overall

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)

 

Numbers: Midpoint (Cue the Extreme tune…)

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…)”

Who?

… 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?”

Shakespeare: Screenplays before Movies?

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?”

Podcast 16: The First Part of Henry the Sixth DVD Review, Part Two

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”

Joan of Arc: Hysterical, the Sequel (The Whore)

For the last couple of days, we have discussed one of the more interesting characters in The First Part of Henry the Sixth: Joan la Pucelle, or Joan of Arc.  We began two days ago with the historical Joan (the documented events of her life), and yesterday we delved a bit into the way Shakespeare played out to the extreme the most important “fact” about Joan (at least to the British): She was a witch.  The depiction was an overreaching distortion, but at least he could point to historical documents as support.

Today, we’re going to discuss Shakespeare’s complete and utter character assassination of the hysterical Joan.  And here, I take “hysterical” as “characteristic of hysteria,” a disorder “originally thought to be due to a disturbance of the uterus and its functions” and one “usually attended with emotional disturbances and enfeeblement or perversion of the moral and intellectual faculties” (all Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM [v. 4.0], emphases mine).  Throughout the play, Shakespeare over-sexualizes Joan and presents her as a whore.
Continue reading “Joan of Arc: Hysterical, the Sequel (The Whore)”

Joan of Arc: Hysterical (Witchy Woman)

Yesterday, we discussed in brief one of the more interesting characters in The First Part of Henry the Sixth: Joan la Pucelle, or Joan of Arc, and in that blog entry, we dealt mainly with the historical data, facts that are not in much dispute.  Today and tomorrow, let’s take a look at how Shakespeare depicts her.

As an Englishman writing about a French figure of some renown, Shakespeare–as we would expect–doesn’t do Joan’s memory any favors.  In fact, save for the undisputed facts of her martial victories, Shakespeare gives her no credit at all, attacking her ability to bring about these victories, and then attacking her character as well.  Today, let’s begin with how Shakespeare explains her battlefield triumphs: she’s a witch.
Continue reading “Joan of Arc: Hysterical (Witchy Woman)”

Progress Report

Just for scat and laughs, I did a little data mining tonight… as of today:

  • 130 days
  • 140 entries, with over 100,000 words written (100,619 to be exact)
  • 4 plays read (we’re over ten percent done)
  • 15 podcasts (over three hours of content)
  • 3570 blog visits
  • 2127 podcast downloads
  • 308 subscribers to our podcast RSS feed; another 94 (either through RSS or Atom) to the blog itself
  • 240 Facebook fans
Up until this week, the podcast has been syndicated on fluctu8, podcastblaster, podcastalley, and zencast (… and we will be appearing on iTunes beginning next week!).
Thanks for joining the project… hope you’ve had fun, thus far… and we ARE JUST GETTING STARTED!