Joan of Arc: Historical

Jeanne d’Arc was born in or around 1412 to Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle Romée in Domrémy, a village in eastern France, where her parents owned about 50 acres of farm land.  Her later testimony stated that she began to have her visions at age 12, when the voices of the Archangel Michael, the “good martyr” Saint Catherine, and the virgin Saint Margaret, told her to defeat the invading English army and drive them from French soil, allowing for the Dauphin Charles to go to Reims for a true coronation.

In 1429, at age 16, in an interview with Count Robert de Baudricort, she predicted a turnaround in the military situation at Orleans.  When this came to pass, he gave her an escort to go to Chinon to meet with Charles.  In this meeting, she was able to convince the Dauphin to allow her to dress as a knight (she had already been disguising herself as a man) and travel with the army.
Continue reading “Joan of Arc: Historical”

Gloucester vs. Winchester: Sexual Mudslinging

For the first half of The First Part of Henry the Sixth the main interpersonal conflict is between Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester and Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester.  As noted earlier in the month, the two are related, and their quarrel is over who shall have access to and control over the young king.  And while Winchester’s attacks are mostly on religious (“vizier” [I.iv.29]) and political (“most usurping proditor” [I.iv.31]) grounds, Gloucester’s responses are much more earthly and sexual.
Continue reading “Gloucester vs. Winchester: Sexual Mudslinging”

Act One, Scene Three: The Play(-ing)’s the Thing…

In performance, Act One, Scene Three of The First Part of Henry the Sixth is crucial; it’s the first scene that drives the plot forward and does not depend on its expository nature (the funeral of Henry V, news from France; the French nobles prepare for the assault).  Here, we see the first French defeat of the play (in a play filled with battlefield momentum swings), and we have the introduction of one of the main characters of the play: Joan la Pucelle.

The question, then, is how do we play the scene?
Continue reading “Act One, Scene Three: The Play(-ing)’s the Thing…”

Mental Roadblock

Greetings, readers.

Hitting a mental roadblock today… not sure what to write about.  (of course, it doesn’t help, not one bit, that I’ve got a sore throat, and my enthusiasm for writing today is only slightly higher than my enthusiasm for work)

So, I’m going to do what I always do when these things happen:  Punt.
Continue reading “Mental Roadblock”

Podcast 15: The First Part of Henry the Sixth DVD Review

This week’s podcast includes a DVD review for The First Part of Henry the Sixth, plus a recap of this week’s blog entries.

Errata:
1:06 — text should be “November” instead of “December”
Continue reading “Podcast 15: The First Part of Henry the Sixth DVD Review”

Shakespeare Comes to UCLA (my alma mater!)

No, it’s not a production… it’s kinda even better.

The Clark Library of UCLA (my alma mater and the best damn university in the world [OK, so I’m a *LITTLE* biased!]) is about to receive a $2 million collection of 72 books related to Shakespeare.  The Library, which I’m chagrined to say I’ve never heard of, is located off-campus in the West Adams area (for those of you who know LA), and houses a number of rare books.
Continue reading “Shakespeare Comes to UCLA (my alma mater!)”

The War of the Roses

As we mentioned yesterday in our discussion of historical inaccuracies in The First Part of Henry the Sixth, the term “the War of the Roses” became popular only in the nineteenth century after its use in Sir Walter Scott’s Anne of Geierstein, or The Maiden of the Mist (1829); the phrase is said to be have been based on the Rose Briar scene (Act Two, Scene Five) of 1HenryVI, in which Plantagenet and Somerset ask their followers to show their allegiance by their choice of flowers (white for the followers of York, red for Lancaster).
Continue reading “The War of the Roses”

Henry the Sixth is History: Not So Much (or: Historical Inaccuracies)

For the last few days, we’ve been loading up on timelines, both historical and military, of the events that took place during the time period covered in The First Part of Henry the Sixth.  Today, let’s see how those factual events mesh (and more importantly don’t mesh) with what’s in the play.
Continue reading “Henry the Sixth is History: Not So Much (or: Historical Inaccuracies)”

Henry the Sixth is History: Military Timeline

Here’s a rough assemblage of dates/events of military importance to The First Part of Henry the Sixth…

Tomorrow, we’ll play a game of mix-and-match with the events from this timeline (as well as yesterday‘s) and the major plot points in the play.
Continue reading “Henry the Sixth is History: Military Timeline”

Henry the Sixth is History: Historical Timeline

Here’s a rough assemblage of dates/events of historical importance to The First Part of Henry the Sixth… we’ll hit the military stuff tomorrow.
Continue reading “Henry the Sixth is History: Historical Timeline”