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I think this will be the last Shakespeare play I review, a historical work from the earlier part of his career which is increasingly accepted as part of the canon (available here). It was odd to read it without the benefit of Arkangel or other performers, and it seemed to go very quickly (it's also I think very short).

It's actually a play of two very distinct halves. The first two acts concern Edward III's attempts to seduce the Countess of Salisbury, which she successfully repulses; Acts III-V cover the Black Prince's campaigns in France, including the Battle of Crécy and the Burghers of Calais. Chunks of Shakespeare's sonnets are soldered into the text, which is part of the reason people think he was involved at a more substantial stage of the creative process. Certainly both halves of the play have obvious parallels among his other works, and I found the prose style enjoyable. The theory goes that the play was censored from the historical record because it is rude about the Scots, which seems entirely possible. An interesting curiosity.

Henry VI, Part I | Henry VI, Part II | Henry VI, Part III | Richard III | Comedy of Errors | Titus Andronicus | Taming of the Shrew | Two Gentlemen of Verona | Love's Labour's Lost | Romeo and Juliet | Richard II | A Midsummer Night's Dream | King John | The Merchant of Venice | Henry IV, Part I | Henry IV, Part II | Henry V | Julius Caesar | Much Ado About Nothing | As You Like It | Merry Wives of Windsor | Hamlet | Twelfth Night | Troilus and Cressida | All's Well That Ends Well | Measure for Measure | Othello | King Lear | Macbeth | Antony and Cleopatra | Coriolanus | Timon of Athens | Pericles | Cymbeline | The Winter's Tale | The Tempest | Henry VIII | The Two Noble Kinsmen | Edward III | Sir Thomas More (fragment)

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
wwhyte
Jun. 3rd, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
Are you going to do a Shakespeare overview? This has been a great idea and I've really enjoyed reading your individual reviews.
nwhyte
Jun. 4th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
I'm not sure. The other Jonathan Bate book is fairly high on my reading list and I might link an overview to my write-up of it. What I will do now, though, is paste an index to the end of each of the play reviews.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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