Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Class Notes: King Henry IV, pt. I

Shakespeare Colloquium: Shakespeare's Metadrama
Professor Richard Horwich
New York University
Fall 2007

the many roles of Hal: wayward son, robber, king, true heir

special effects of Falsaff's tale

English hierarchy: Royalty (5) -> Lords/Barons (500) -> Knights/gentires (5000) -> commons

RE: Prince Charles: "what has he done? he's spent 50 years waiting for his mother to die"

time in first scene vs. time in second

JoAnne Akalaitis production at the Public- tavern done in modern dress while courtroom scenes were historically acurate, showed how the world of the court passes put the tavern world is timeless

Hotspur- Fortinbras? Rambo vengence? glory? basically fights to fight

honour hides selfishness

Hotspur/Henry/Henry, Henry/Harry/Hal

Hotspur looks down on the middle class, women

Falstaff and hotspur as comics- imitations, fat and skinny

Hotspur considers the messenger an aberration of natural man (Osrick)

any time a character imitates another character or does impressions, it's fundamentally a play within a play

2.4- three parts, all directed, all about playing

Falstaff's joint stool would have been the same as Henry's throne

Vernon's speech: reported because a) can't have a horse on-stage and b) it's clear the importance (also shows hal is being talked about) -> would have been hoisted up and lowered onto the horse in reality

chivalry- the best man really does win (lost in richard's reign)

if they don't wait, they lose (greater glory in death)

the becoming of a hero requires a new name

question of Falstaff's death can only be answered in perfromance

more a coming of age play than a history play

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