Saturday, January 15, 2011

1 Henry 6 Act 4, Scenes 2-7; Act 5, Scene 1


here we go:
so good old Talbot is doing his war thing in France. he marches up to Bordeaux and demands to be let in, like he does. the general at the gate basically gives him the bird and tells Talbot that he is surrounded by Charles' army. he. is. screwed. Talbot, in true Talbot fashion, remains brave.
in the next scene, Richard (now called York, but for continuity's sake we will still call him Richard) hears about what's going on with Talbot from Lucy (not a girl). he is not happy. he talks about how much he hates Somerset and how this is all Somerset's fault. then we learn that Talbot's son John, who we hasn't seen in seven years, went to his father's aid. Richard leaves to take some troops off to Talbot's aid as well.
after that, Somerset saunters in saying it's too late to help Talbot. Lucy tells him it's his fault and he needs to go help. Somerset says it's Richard's fault. Lucy guilts him a bit and Somerset finally agrees to send some reinforcements.
Talbot and John are back at Bordeaux. Talbot wants to help his son escape so he will be safe, but John won't leave his father. they go back and forth the whole scene about leaving or not and who of the two of them is more important to save and why. there's a lot of love and dignity going on.
the next scene is... kind of the same as the last one. they are in battle and Talbot saves his son's life. John says this beautiful thing about being born twice: once when he was born by his mother and once when his father saved his life. lovely. and then they go back and forth in a mutual reverence about who is more important to save. again.
in the last scene of the act, John is brought in, having died in battle. Talbot holds him in his arms and dies as well saying, "now my old arms are young John Talbot's grave." so sad. Charles and the Frenchies come in saying (get this) that they are so happy Richard and Somerset weren't there to help Talbot because if they had been, the French probably would have lost the battle. ROUGH. they do some war talk until Lucy comes in, claiming the bodies of the dead Englishmen and mourning the loss of Talbot.
act 5 begins with talks of peace and of Henry marrying. then Winchester comes in (remember that jerk?) in a Cardinal's outfit. gr. yeah, he's pretty hungry for power. the king calls for peace and Gloucester announces to everyone that Henry will be married. Henry sends some jewelry to his future wifey and heads out. in the last passage, i'm not sure, but i think Winchester is saying that he will gain power and have Gloucester kissing his feet ASAP.

things are getting exciting!!! how will this all wrap up?!?!

as we said before, Henry started as a baby? and then he was supposedly 5 but talking like an adult? and now he's getting married? all very confusing.

Henry seems to love peace and calm. i can dig that. i'm wondering how that will shape up for him.

i wonder if people cut a lot of this stuff when they produce this play. i feel like there's a lot of repeated information, which i guess is understandable considering the time period. if my audience was as distracted as those audiences probably were, i would repeat vital information for sure. i know that those audiences could get pretty rowdy at times (especially when dealing with potentially violent material like this?) and that a good portion of them were not 'educated' per se. so, my best guess is that repeating information was the best way to make sure the central ideas got through. however, if i were producing this show today for an adult audience, maybe i would snip here and there? because our problem today is attention span? i don't know. what do you think?

i need to work really hard to keep this from being a chore. i do love it, but keeping this up every day is hard, especially when school and rehearsal and family and friends are pulling me in other directions. besides positive thinking, anyone got a good idea on how to keep this from turning into a chore?

thanks for reading. as always, i appreciate it.

quote of the day:
'stay, go, do what you will- the like do i;
for live i will not, if my father die.'
     -John Talbot; act 4, scene 5

for tomorrow: the rest of act 5. woot woot! and after that, we will jump into another poem! soon it will be sonnet time. woohoo!

-reading rebecca


  1. I don't know how you do it. I have a hard time keeping track of the characters and plot developments in your play-by-play without attempting to read the text. The only suggestions I can think to offer to liven up the routine would be to change your scenery from time to time, eat something tasty, and/or play music or TV, while you read. However, I expect you already do those things, considering your hectic schedule.

    That father-son bonding sounds very sweet and touching.

  2. Read with your mum. She is bored and lonely a lot.