Benedick, Claudio, and Don Pedro all produce the kind of witty banter that courtiers used to attract attention and approval in noble households. Courtiers were expected to speak in highly contrived language but to make their clever performances seem effortless. According to this work, the ideal courtier masks his effort and appears to project elegance and natural grace by means of what Castiglione calls sprezzatura, the illusion of effortlessness.
Henry is presented first as a ruler who has been beset with troubles from the start: He thus is unable to fulfill his earlier vow to lead a crusade to the Holy Land. But there is one piece of good news: English forces led by young Hotspur have defeated the Scots at Holmedon and have captured the renowned Earl of Douglas.
The comic subplot deals most amusingly with this same Falstaff and his companions, including Prince Hal, as he is appropriately called in this setting. In the initial episode, Hal joins with Poins, Bardolph, and Peto in a plan to jokingly deceive Falstaff, contriving to have him participate in a robbery at Gadshill, be robbed in turn, and finally exposed as a coward and liar.
Alone, Prince Hal soliloquizes, letting the audience know that, although he now chooses to enjoy himself in riotous company, he has no illusions about the character of his associates and will redeem himself publicly at the proper time.
The main plot takes precedence at this point. He sternly scolds them and especially demands to be told why the ranking Scottish prisoners taken by Hotspur have not been turned over to the Crown.
The Percies, deeply resenting the fact that the man they helped to the throne now intends to enforce absolute obedience, begin to plot their revolt. They will make peace with Glendower and gain his support and that of Mortimer.
The comic subplot now gains center stage. Arrangements are completed for the robbery at Gadshill during the night. When the victims, a group of travelers, approach, Poins and the prince use an excuse to separate themselves from Falstaff and the others.
Falstaff, forced to proceed on foot, is the leader of the robbers, who then are set upon by the disguised prince and Poins and robbed in turn. Falstaff quickly beats a retreat.
Again the action shifts to the main plot. Hotspur reads a letter from an English noble whose aid he has solicited. He can hardly contain himself as he reads the excuses offered, and he denounces the writer as a coward.
Then, in an exchange with his attractive young wife, Kate, he reveals himself as a man practically obsessed with matters relating solely to the planned revolt against the Crown.
But, not unexpectedly, in view of his already demonstrated wit, he not only survives the ordeal of being laughed at as a coward and liar but emerges comically triumphant.
Prior to all this, Hal had made satiric reference to the ability of Hotspur; now an emissary from the king informs Hal that he must appear at court promptly.
This turn of events provides the prince the opportunity to participate with Falstaff in a "play extempore," each successively enacting the role of King Henry rebuking the wayward son and heir. At the residence of the Archdeacon in North Wales, Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and Glendower hold a parley, one not without some disagreement.
They plan the campaign against the royal forces and the later division of England into three parts. The absence of the Earl of Northumberland is significant in light of later events.
In the meantime, the confrontation between the king and Prince Hal takes place, the former sternly rebuking his son and comparing him unfavorably to the valiant Hotspur. At that very moment the two learn that the rebels will be assembled at Shrewsbury.
Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas learn that the Earl of Northumberland and his retainers will not join them. Apparently illness has incapacitated him. But Hotspur is not upset by this bad news; sure of victory, he sees this as providing a greater opportunity to impress the multitude, whose support the rebels must gain and retain.
Vernon arrives with the news that the royal army has set forth for Shrewsbury and that second in command to the king himself is the Prince of Wales. Yet a third report is received: Glendower will require fourteen days to raise a force of Welshmen. But nothing can dampen the eagerness nor restrain the impulsiveness of Hotspur.
Next we see Falstaff as a military commander. He has managed to enlist a group of pitiful, physically unfit "soldiers" whom he will lead to Shrewsbury.
Both Prince Hal and Westmoreland remark on their unfitness but do nothing to stop Falstaff. In Yorkshire, the Archbishop of York and one Sir Michael, both sympathetic to the rebellious Percies, discuss the upcoming battle at Shrewsbury.Introduction In our discussion of the Ancient Wisdom on our homepage, we say that it is to be found everywhere, in plain sight of all.
One source is the works of the truly great poets, such as Dante, Milton, Shelley and Shakespeare. The BBC Television Shakespeare is a series of British television adaptations of the plays of William Shakespeare, created by Cedric Messina and broadcast by BBC alphabetnyc.comitted in the UK from 3 December to 27 April , the series spanned seven seasons and thirty-seven episodes.
Development began in when Messina saw that the grounds of Glamis Castle would make a .
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