Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1 Henry 6; Act 1, Scenes 3-6


well hello there! thanks to all who are tuning in and contributing! share with friends pretty please!

here's how the first act is shaping up:
so as we talked about before, Gloucester goes to the Tower of London to check on the weapons situation. when he gets there, however, the guard won't let him in. as it turns out, Winchester has taken over. in a bold move, Gloucester accuses him of trying to kill Henry V. (oh snap.) they challenge and threaten each other back and forth until the Mayor comes by to tell them to cool it for now.
when we move to the next scene, we head back over to France. Talbot has been released and talks to the Earl of Salisbury, Sir Gargrave, and others about what it was like for him in prison. they called him the 'terror of the French'! as he talks to them, Salisbury and Gargrave are shot and killed by the French. to be honest, i found the scene a little confusing up to this point. anyone care to share? the French are geared up to fight and Talbot is fired up to fight back with full force.
scene 5 is basically fighting. Joan and Talbot face off. Talbot tries to fight til the last. eventually, ashamed, he admits that the fight is lost.
in the last scene Joan, Charles, and other Frenchies celebrate their victory.

so just a quick clear-up. i mentioned Falstaff last time, and a very helpful reader helped to clear me up on the subject. so i did a little research and learned that he has been known historically as Folstofe, but in the Folio is called Falstaff. so, in my anthology he is listed as Falstaff. phew! thanks for the confusion, mr. Shakespeare.

here is my main question: at the end of act 1, scene 6... what the heck is going on? Charles says he's going to divide his crown with Joan and all this other stuff he's going to do to celebrate her. is he saying he wants to marry her? that's what "divide my crown with her" means to me. OR is he saying he's going to share power with her? OR is he just saying that he is going to shower her with gifts and reverence? anyone care to contribute?

Joan is a total B.A. i love it. i appreciate her boldness. of course, she would never be this way without extreme divine intervention but... it's a start.

so much is happening in this play and there is SOOO much fighting. how stageable is this play today? i cannot imagine ever having the resources to pull it off. what do you think?

quote of the day:
'heavens, can you suffer so to prevail?
my breast i'll burst with the straining of my courage
and from my shoulders crack my arms asunder
but i will chastise this high-minded strumpet."
     -Talbot; Act 1, Scene 5

for tomorrow: Act 2

-rebecca, duchess of 365shakes


  1. Maybe he means he'll divide his lands with Joan?

  2. I got a little curious about your questions regarding producibility, so I did some light Googling (I know, my dramaturgy professor is very disappointed in the deterioration of my research skills) and found a couple of reviews from the past 10 years or so. Creative license seems to be a theme, at least in US productions.

    Here's a theatre that did Part I: http://articlet.com/article11479.html

    Here's a version that did all 3 parts in 4 hours of stage time: http://theater.nytimes.com/mem/theater/treview.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&res=9A01E4D81539F932A1575AC0A9629C8B63&fta=y

    And then, in the UK, a marathon production that did all 3 parts in 10 hours: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/henry-vi-parts-1-2-amp-3-courtyard-theatre-stratforduponavon--none-onestar-twostar-threestar-fourstar-411741.html

  3. OH, and one more, 'cause I can't stop myself, and this interview actually discusses some of the staging info from the director:


  4. I am constantly amused by the British marathon productions. In my studies in London, I discovered that there are the purists and the ultra-purists and the upstarts. The purists do traditional productions, the ultra-purists like to do marathons complete with Elizabethan garb and lightweight staging, and the upstarts will try anything out because, after all, it's Shakespeare.