Act I, Scene 1 The Prince has sent a message to his good friend Leonato to inform him that he and his soldiers will be coming to stay for a while. Leonato is very pleased at this news, especially since the battle went well and the didn’t lose anyone important. He is eager to see … Continue reading Much Ado About Nothing Part 1
Act IV, Scene 4 Pistol captures a French soldier. He attempts to demand a ransom, but since he doesn’t actually speak any French and the soldier doesn’t speak English, there is quite a bit of confusion. Pistol calls the boy in to translate and they discover the the French soldier is a gentleman and will … Continue reading Henry V Part 3
Act III, Prologue We are now to pretend that we watched Henry V embark on his ships from England and sail to the coast of France at Harfleur. We should also pretend that we saw the French King offer Henry his daughter Katherine and some useless Dukedoms in an attempt to appease Henry. Twist ending: … Continue reading Henry V Part 2
I came across a news article today that said a recent study found that one-third of British students didn’t know who Shakespeare was. I was immediately incredulous because frankly most journalists are terrible at covering scientific studies, so I decided to give it a closer read. Basically, the study gave 1,000 students aged 11 to … Continue reading Students Don’t Know Shakespeare?
Prologue Chorus starts off the play by lowering our expectations. He makes it clear that the play can’t really do justice to the glory of the history being portrayed, but hopefully we can use our imagination and still enjoy it. Act I, Scene 1 The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely are up … Continue reading Henry V Part 1
“Why would anyone, he asked himself, be drawn to a leader manifestly unsuited to govern, someone dangerously impulsive or viciously conniving or indifferent to the truth? Why, in some circumstances, does evidence of mendacity, crudeness, or cruelty serve not as a fatal disadvantage, but as an allure, attracting ardent followers? Why do otherwise proud and … Continue reading Book Review: Tyrant by Stephen Greenblatt
The baby is napping...for now...so we’re back for part 2. In part 1, we looked at adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to see what the current offerings are and how they present the play for kids. This selection covers Shakespeare the man and the word he lived in. It’s easy to underestimate the importance … Continue reading Shakespeare Books for Kids Part 2!
Since the primary focus of Henry V is his campaigns in France, I thought it would be helpful to review exactly why he wants to bother with conquering France in the first place (besides, you know, glory). Henry V decides to restart the war started by his grandfather, Edward III, known as the Hundred Years … Continue reading Why War with France?
Why Are the History Plays So Hard?! There is little doubt that the Henriad is much better than the Henry VI plays. There’s little doubt that pretty much all of the history plays are better than the Henry Vi plays. Despite being well-written and largely entertaining, they can still be quite difficult to work through. … Continue reading From Confusion to Rage
Act II, Scene 4 Two servants prepare the dining room for Sir John and the others. First, they discuss whether or not they should serve apple-johns since one time Prince Hal used them to insult the knight. They decide to cover them up. They need music and to bring down the temperature of the room. … Continue reading 2 Henry IV Part 2