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Brothers and "gentles" in the life of King Henry the fifth.

Forms of the word "brother" echo throughout Shakespeare's The Life of King Henry the Fifth (1599), from the scenes involving the brotherhood of thieves, Pistol, Bardolph, and Nim (e.g. 2.1.10, 98; 3.2.41; 3.6.48) to the one at play's end where King Charles YI of France and King Henry repeatedly call each other brother (e.g. 5.2.2, 10, 83, 315). (1) The most memorable instance occurs during Henry's oration delivered to his troops the day before the Battle of Agincourt. The king reminds them that they will be fighting on the day dedicated to the Feast of Saint Crispin. Crispin and Crispianus were brothers, cobblers, who were early Christian martyrs celebrated for their unshakable faith. Predicting victory, Henry says that his soldiers will be equally remembered with an everlasting fame:
   We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
   For he today that sheds his blood with me
   Shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile,
   This day shall gentle his condition.
   And gentlemen in England now abed
   Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
   And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
   That fought with us upon Saint Crispins day. (4.3.60-67)

Marsha S. Robinson has argued that Shakespeare in The Life of King Henry the Fifth "counterpoised the tragedy of fraternal strife with the comedy of brotherly reconciliation." (2) Using the term "brother" literally and figuratively, Robinson says that versions of fraternal strife, based on the Cain/Abel archetype and representative of Saint Augustine's earthly city, motivate Shakespeare's histories until The Life of King Henry the Fifth, when the king rhetorically erases fraternal strife and creates several brotherhoods evocative of Augustine's heavenly city. These occur, according to Robinson, in his refashioning of the Southampton conspiracy as Gods rectification of the Fall of Lucifer and in the forging of countrymen into the single, purportedly national, social class of the Agincourt victors. (3) Christopher Dowd, on the other hand, has asserted that repetition of the word "brother" in the play identifies male groupings that can be "defined as biological, national, and spiritual" brotherhoods. These three categories for Dowd also highlight "three areas of English anxiety when dealing with others--race, nationality, and religion." (4) This is true whether the others are French, Irish, Welsh, or Scottish countrymen.

But the lack of conflict, or even anything more than perfunctory interaction, between King Henry and his younger brothers, the Dukes of Gloucester and of Clarence, make Robinsons "fraternal strife"--at least in its literal sense--and Dowd's "biological brotherhood" an analytical dead end. Primogeniture is not a contested issue in The Life of King Henry the Fifth. Marianne Novy remarks that in The Second Part of Henry the Fourth (1598) the future Henry the Fifth "makes a point of reassuring his brothers that he will not kill them, as Amurath, the Turkish Sultan, killed his. Rather he says, 'I'll be your father and your brother too.'" (5) Nothing in The Life of King Henry the Fifth contradicts this promise or suggests that Henry's earlier remark could have incestuous overtones. Moreover, Dowd's exploration of spiritual brotherhood restricts itself to the ideas quoted above in Henry's Saint Crispin's Day speech and never mentions the imagery of secular communion in it, or that imagery's religious irony. (6)

In the following paragraphs, I interrogate the phenomenon of brotherhood in The Life of King Henry the Fifth in relation to "gentleness"--the mark of gentry--as well as to Henry's desire to be a Christian king. After all, in his most memorable expression of brotherhood, Henry says that shedding blood at Agincourt will "gentle" common soldiers' "condition," i.e., raise them to the social rank of gentleman. Not only the Chorus but Henry himself says that he is a "Christian king" (1.2.241-42; 2.0.6). "And the Lord said unto Cain," after he slew his brother Abel, "Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" (7) The implied answer to this last question is obviously affirmative, for God curses Cain. Christians who regard Abel as a type of the sacrificed Christ extend this concept by advocating that the faithful should be their brothers' keepers, where "brother" is understood figuratively as the neighbor whom they should love as themselves. (8) The Earl of Northumberland, determined to foment civil war, exclaims at the beginning of The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, "Let one spirit of the first-born Cain / Reign in all bosoms" (1.1.157-58). (9) Reigning into Henry the Fifth's monarchy, the spirit of Cain--in its larger, Christian sense involving humanity--radically challenges him to preserve a biblical command about brotherhood.

In the opening Prologue of The Life of King Henry the Fifth, the Chorus begs, "But pardon, gentles all, / The flat unraised spirits that hath dared ... to bring forth" the play's heroic subject (8-11). And he asks playgoers "gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play" (34). At the beginning of act 2, he says, "the scene / is now transported, gentles, to Southampton" (2.0.35). (10) By his phrase "gentles all," the Chorus appears to be addressing every gentleman in the theater. Peter Laslett has estimated that "about a twenty-fifth, at most a twentieth, of all people alive in the England of the Tudors and the Stuarts ... belonged to the gentry and to those above them in the social hierarchy." (11) On the other hand, Ann Jennalie Cook--citing Sir Thomas Smith's comment that "a gentleman is whoever 'can hue idlely, and without manuall labour, and will beare the Port, charge and countenance of a Gentleman'"--argues that over half of Shakespeare's Globe audience consisted of gentry. (12) Whatever the case, the cashiered foot soldiers, apprentices, house-servants, aliens (Huguenots, Flems), tailors, scriveners, yeomen, citizens, butchers, brewers, pewterers, cordwainers, Cartwrights, and so on in Shakespeare's audience, to say nothing of nearly all the women in the crowd, were not--and never would be--gentlemen (or gentlewomen). (13)

This was true no matter how later historians and literary critics defined the Elizabethan gentry. The consistent appeal of the Chorus to every gentleman of the audience, from inns-of-court students to ranking soldiers (Captains Fluellen, MacMorris, and Jamy are all called "gentlemen" [3.2.22; 3.3.12,72; 5.1.66]), involves his using his imagination to amplify the relatively bare stage and the play's properties and to picture vividly its actors. He is encouraged to "piece out" onstage "imperfections with [his] thoughts" (Prologue 23). And so he is asked to imagine horses "printing their proud hoofs i' th'receiving earth" (Prologue 27), "ship boys climbing ... hempen tackle" as the sails "draw the huge bottoms" of King Henry's ships "through the furrowed sea, / Breasting the lofty surge" (3.0.8-9,12-13), "from camp to camp through the foul womb of night ... fire answering] fire" before the Battle of Agincourt (4.0.4, 8), and the "lank lean cheeks and war-worn coats" of the "poor condemned English" on that occasion (4.0.26, 22).

One of these examples involves empathetically using ones imagination to put oneself in the place of famished, ragged soldiers so as to feel concern for them. Shakespeare had implied in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1594-96) that gentlemen and gentlewomen possess this capacity when he had Duke Theseus tell Hippolyta, who--along with Egeus--has objected that the acting of Bottom and his artisan friends will only make them look ridiculous, that their "sport shall be to take what they mistake, / And what poor duty cannot do, / Noble respect takes it in might, not merit" (5.1.90-92). By saying that on state visits he "picked a welcome" out of the words of stammering, stage-struck clerks, Theseus implies that he used his imagination to do so, that he mentally placed himself in the clerk's shoes and kindly enriched his welcome. That Theseus calls this respect "noble" indicates that he believes it is a property of a gentleman or gentlewoman. He is after all a duke, an aristocratic gentleman, and the play's artisans, Bottom and his friends, are literal-minded. At least they are so when it comes to the staging of plays. When the excruciating literalness of their "Pyramus and Thisbe" forces Hippolyta to call it "silliest stuff," Theseus says that even the worst actors "are no worse if imagination amend them" (5.1.207, 209). "It must be your imagination, then, and not theirs," Hippolyta retorts (5.1.210). This is precisely what the Chorus of The Life of King Henry the Fifth asks gentle playgoers to do. Still, Bottom and Quince possess one of the two imaginative capacities of Theseus's gentleman: they can empathetically put themselves in the place of a playgoer and feel his or her discomfort. How else is one to read their anxiety lest their bringing a lion on stage and having Pyramus kill himself there is going to pain more sensitive members of their audience (1.2.61-63, 65-68; 3.1.9-11, 27-40)?

This irony involving social class in A Midsummer Night's Dream suggests that Shakespeare elsewhere may show characters from various classes exercising the empathetic imagination defined in this early comedy's last act. On October 20,1596, William Dethick, Garter Principal King of Arms, granted William Shakespeare's request on behalf of his father John--and eventually of himself--to be awarded armigerous (gentleman) status. (14) From about that time through 1599, the year he produced The Life of King Henry the Fifth, Shakespeare notably explored the traits that made a character such as George Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597) "gentle" even though he is not a gentleman but a townsman. (15) Among the characteristics is the ability to sympathize imaginatively with the suffering of others and so to pity them and want to alleviate their pain. George Page wants to do so by ending the physical persecution of Falstaff and including him in the final festive celebrations of Windsor, and Orlando does so in As You Like It (1599) by pitying Old Adam's suffering in the Forest of Arden and wanting to relieve his hunger before he does his own. (16) Orlando explicitly associates empathetic pity and gentleness (gentility, not simply kindness) when he begs food from Duke Senior by saying,
   If ever [you have] sat at any good man's feast,
   If ever from your eyelids wiped a tear,
   And know what 'tis to pity, and be pitied,
   Let gentleness my strong enforcement be. (2.7.114-17)

The Duke strengthens this association by replying that he has "sat at good men's feasts, and wiped [his] eyes / Of drops that sacred pity hath engendered," concluding "therefore sit you down in gentleness" (2.7.12123). In his "To the memory of my beloved, the Author Mr. William Shakespeare," a poem prefacing the First Folio (1623), Ben Jonson wrote: "Yet must I not giue Nature all: Thy Art, / My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part." (17) Jonson possibly believed that Shakespeare was "gentle" in the sense described in preceding paragraphs.

Does King Henry the Fifth reveal a capacity for the empathetic, "gentle" imagination, one that prompts a charitable compassion? Henry's most expansive act of imagination consists of his dilation of Ceremony, an example of rhetorical amplificado (4.1.212-66). It builds toward the distinction between himself and a "wretched slave"--a "peasant"--who labors hard under the sun but whose "vacant mind" assures him, unlike the insomniac king, of deep sleep every night (4.1.250,251,262). Stephen Greenblatt notes that "after watching a scene [in The Life of King Henry the Fifth] in which anxious, frightened troops sleeplessly await the dawn, it is difficult to be fully persuaded by Hals climactic vision of the 'slave' and 'peasant' sleeping comfortably, little knowing 'What watch the King keeps to maintain the peace.'" (18) It is difficult to be even partly persuaded by Henry's vision of a commoner's "comfortable" lot, for the king never pities the misery that makes this man sleep insensibly. He never imagines him as a brother sharing life's burden. How is he then a Christian king? Henry, expatiating on Ceremony, feels sorry only for himself. It is the foot soldier Williams who possesses the gentle imagination in The Life of King Henry the Fifth. Unlike disguised King Henry, with whom he has been talking, Williams empathetically imagines English soldiers torn apart at Agincourt, so much so that he gives their body parts voices. This wrenching "speech" urges auditors to picture for themselves the pitiful destitution of the soldiers' unlucky survivors. "If the [king's] cause be not good," Williams exclaims, "the King himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads chopped off in a battle shall join together at the latter day, and cry all, 'We died at such a place'--some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left" (4.1.128-34).

Shakespeare's reading of certain essays of Michel de Montaigne, as translated by John Florio, could have either inspired the playwright, or corroborated his own inclination, to dramatize the imagination's sympathetic response to the pain of others of all classes. (19) Florio's translation was begun at least by 1598, licensed in 1599, but not published until 1603. But Shakespeare was almost certainly reading the Frenchman's translated essays at the century's turn, most likely in a manuscript rather than a printer's copy. (20) In "Of the Force of Imagination," Montaigne, admitting that he "feele[s] a very great ... power of imagination," asserts that "the impression of it pierceth me ... The sight of others anguishes doth sensibly drive me into anguish." (21) Arthur Kirsch has shown the remarkable resemblance between Montaigne's strong tendency to empathize with others' suffering and Shakespeare's staging of this capacity so as to make possible the relative harmony of The Tempest's close. In "Of Crueltie," Montaigne confessed that he "cannot chuce but grieve at seeing a chickins neck puld off, or a pigge stickt.... I have a verie feeling and tender compassion of other mens afflictions, and should more easily weep for companie sake, if possiblie for any occasion whatsoever, I could shed teares. There is nothing sooner moveth teares in me, than to see others weepe, not onely fainedly, but howsoever, whether truly or forcedly." (22) Later, in the larger context of the presence of my subject in the Shakespeare canon, my reader will see that Montaigne's account of his sensitivity to "other mens affictions"--what the soldier Williams registers--is felt by Prospero in The Tempest when he wants to relieve a weeping old friends pain.

Williams's empathetic word picture draws no corresponding response from Henry; in fact, he rather coldly goes on to explain that he is not responsible for his soldiers' souls. Greenblatt calls the king's explanations "awkward ... as if war were a religious blessing, an advantage' to a soldier able to 'wash every mote out of his conscience.'" (23) King Henry is not the keeper of a brother who sheds his blood with him in battle. Even as he supposes the peasant numbed by work does not suffer, so Henry never imagines the pain of his ordinary soldier's wounds or the terrific tragedy of their deaths for those dependent upon them. This ability of Williams might prompt some playgoers or readers, reflecting on the Chorus's Prologue, to expand the application of his address, "gentles all," to include some members of the non-gentry audience. Not all of them, of course, but the indeterminable number who have the capacity to think as Williams does.

A suggestion of Henry's concerning the duel he and Williams are to fight might cause a playgoer to believe he regards Williams as more than a commoner. The king proposes that they exchange "gage[s]" and wear each others glove in their hat band, so that they can recognize each other after the battle (4.1.193-205). But Henry later asks Fluellen, "Is it fit this soldier keep his oath [to respond to a challenge to duel]" (4.7.119-20)? "It may be his enemy is a gentleman of great sort, quite from the answer of his degree," he exclaims (4.7.123-24). By the word "degree," Henry refers to Williams's social class as well as his rank. While Fluellen replies affirmatively, the king decides to duel by proxy. Examining the larger context of dueling within Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy and his culture is useful here.

King Henry, of course, has no intention of dueling with a commoner, whether disguised or in his own person. No Elizabethan, including Shakespeare, could have imagined anything so monstrous as the latter possibility. And yet it is incredible that Henry, even though he intends to avoid dueling Williams, should propose throwing down a gage, a glove, to challenge his adversary. Only noblemen, aristocrats, do so in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Richard the Second (1594-96). Harry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, throw down their gages at the beginning of this play, and the stage is later comically littered with gages as duels are "offered and accepted by Aumerle, Bagot, Percy, Fitzwater, Surrey, and one anonymous lord, heedless of the disputants' number and their degrees." (24) All these men are either noblemen or gentlemen, with the exception of Bagot.

Jennifer Low has explained that judicial duels had given way by Shakespeare's time to duels of personal honor. (25) Judicial duels arose in the Middle Ages as state-sponsored violence to adjudicate charges of treason or cases of disputed land ownership. Since the lance and cumbersome English broadsword were used, they were often fought by knights. In all cases, the assumption was that God would show his Providence by one duelist slaying the other, who was then known to be false. This is the duel Bolingbroke and Mowbray would have fought, had Richard not aborted it. (26) The other threatened duels in The Tragedy of King Richard the Second would also be judicial duels, since they implicitly concern the charge of treason made against Aumerle for supposedly killing the royal heir Thomas of Woodstock (4.1.1-81). But they rapidly become offered duels of personal honor, rampant in Shakespeare's time when the recently introduced Italian rapier could be used by a broader range of classes (e.g., 4.1.43-44,57,61,76). Henry's proposal of challenging Williams via gages, the agents associated with the judicial duel, is particularly outrageous. After all, their affair is essentially a trivial matter of personal honor. But even then, The Tragedy of King Richard the Second shows only gentlemen proposing and accepting duels of personal honor.

Here, the problem posed by Bagot for newly crowned King Henry the Fourth is relevant to the question Henry asked Fluellen about whether a gentleman could duel Williams. Concerning Bagot's claim that he heard Aumerle propose killing Woodstock, Aumerle asks the king, "What answer shall I make to this base man? / Shall I so much dishonor my fair stars / On equal terms to give him chastisement?" (4.1.19-21). Aumerle claims that Bagot, a follower of King Richard, is no gentleman, no titled Englishman, and so not worthy of a thrown gage. Despite Grace Tiffany's assumption that Bagot threw a gage, nothing in his speech or the staging of this scene suggests he casts one down. Enraged Aumerle throws his glove toward Bagot, but the king, not surprisingly, exclaims "Bagot, forbear. Thou shalt not take it up" (4.1.29). (27) Shakespeare thus emphasizes in the first play of the Second Tetralogy what King Henry violates in the last one, that the non-gentleman status of one of two duelists, whether he fights to show God's favor or for personal honor, invalidates the duel.

Tiffany and Low both mention that Prince Hal on foot duels Hotspur at the Battle of Shrewsbury, and that his defeat of the accomplished warrior Hotspur, without the necessary extensive training in swordplay, is almost miraculous. (28) In this context, a distinct irony attaches itself to challenging by gage a foot soldier. Viewed from this perspective, Hal's fighting on foot Hotspur, a knight accustomed to dueling other chevaliers on horseback, makes him appear less than a gentleman. Strictly considered, Prince Hal's and Hotspur's fight is single combat in battle, violence different from judicial duels and duels of honor. (29) Hal and Hotspur are not seeking to reassert their honor after a withering insult. Nevertheless, Hal seems to believe in duels of honor when he tells his father that one day by killing Hotspur in single combat, he will effect a transfer of his "indignities" in exchange for "every honour sitting on [Hotspur's] helm" (3.2.146, 142). The Prince, however, uses the so-called duel of honor not to validate a gentleman's honor but to shine in accordance with his policy of princely self-fashioning.

Given the analysis of this and the preceding paragraphs, one has trouble deciding whether he or she should be surprised that Henry rests content when Fluellen tells him that a gentleman can blamelessly duel a commoner. Certain dynamics of The Tragedy of King Richard the Second argue otherwise, while Hal's utilitarian attitude toward personal dueling in the two Henry the Fourth plays support his ease. Whatever the case, King Henry the Fifth knows he escapes blame because his gentleman proxy will deal with Williams and presumably bring the affair to a peaceful end.

Henry's never-fought duel with Williams takes up quite a bit of The Life of King Henry the Fifth, and yet the issues involved are complicated enough to justify its scope. The king's hesitation and doubt concerning this matter suggest that Williams can never be his brother. Henry and Fluellen always address Williams as "fellow," the word spoken with class-conscious emphasis on its meaning of an inferior or commoner (4.7.132; 4.8.53, 57). (30) Admittedly, fellow ("companion") could carry positive connotations in Shakespeare's time. Malvolio, believing Olivia to be infatuated with him, construes her remark--"let this fellow be looked to"--as indicating that she thinks of him as a married companion, a Count. "Fellow!" he exclaims--"not 'Malvolio,' nor after my degree [of Steward], but 'fellow'" (Twelfth Night 3.4.70-71). Deluded Malvolio has overlooked the word's lower-class connotations in Olivias purported letter; if Malvolio does not want to wear yellow stockings cross-gartered, Olivia supposedly wrote, "let me see thee a steward still, the fellow of servants" (2.5.135-36). Williams's effective rejoinders to Henry's rationalizations for his non-responsibility for the fate of his soldiers have likely sufficiently irritated Henry that he calls Williams a "fellow" in a patronizing tone.

At this point, a clarification is in order. King Henry in his St. Crispin Day speech honestly intends to regard his courageous soldiers as brothers, and he well might like to "gentle" their "condition." He is not self-consciously Machiavellian in this regard, "using" them, so to say, as cannon fodder to secure his place in English history. Shakespeare instead shows Henry repeatedly unable to realize this intention, apparently unaware of his failure. That is what the playwright stresses. Given a list of the English dead, the king exclaims,
   Edward the Duke of York, the Earl of Suffolk,
   Sir Richard Keightly, Davy Gam Esquire;
   None else of name, and of all other men
   But five-and-twenty. (4.8.97-100)

During his Saint Crispin's Day speech, Henry said that his and other noblemens names (some of which he utters after the battle) will be as "familiar" in ordinary surviving soldiers' "mouths as household words" as they remember them in their cups (4.3.51-55). However, he cannot name the dead non-gentlemen supposedly made Henry's brothers by their shed blood when he identifies the lost Englishmen.

Ironically, Shakespeare has shown the first two English lords he names--the Duke of York and the Earl of Suffolk--dying together in a brotherhood of blood. They are, after all, equals: gentlemen. The Duke of Exeter reports:
   Suffolk first died, and York, all haggled over,
   Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteeped,
   And takes him by the beard, kisses the gashes
   That bloodily did yawn upon his face,
   And cries aloud, "Tarry, dear cousin Suffolk.
   My soul shall thine keep company to heaven.
   Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then fly abreast,
   As in this glorious and well-foughten field
   We kept together in our chivalry."
   Upon these words I came and cheered him up.
   He smiled me in the face, raught me his hand,
   And with a feeble grip says, "Dear my lord,
   Commend me to the service of my sovereign."
   So did he turn, and over Suffolk's neck
   He threw his wounded arm, and kissed his lips,
   And so espoused to death, with blood he sealed
   A testament of noble-ending love.
   The pretty and sweet manner of it forced
   Those waters from me which I would have stopped. (4.6.11-29)

The communion of brotherhood sealed by blood occurs not between a king and a common soldier, or between an earl and a foot soldier, but between two armigerous gentlemen. Their mutual kiss is spiritual, sealed by blood and so a religious "testament" to a "noble-ending" love. The nobleness of this love partly, perhaps wholly, derives from the lovers' being nobles and not commoners. Coming soon after King Henry's promise that whoever shares his blood with him shall "gentle his condition" and be remembered to the end of the world, this communion displaces Henry's democratic pact and contributes to its undercutting almost as much as his failure to act out, or acknowledge, his ordinary soldiers as brothers does. Still, Shakespeare qualifies this noble brotherhood by the rather grotesque indecorum of a "pretty and sweet manner" of portraying violent, tragic deaths on the battlefield. Exeter's poetry is Ovidian, amorous, like the psychically distancing, Ovidian verse Marcus uses to describe Lavinia's bleeding mouth and stumps in Titus Andronicus that interpreters of this play have criticized (2.4.16-32). (31) The tears Exeter sheds are those of sentimental pity, what Beaumont and Fletcher regularly provoke. This effect requires a degree of detachment from its source. (32) They are not the tears produced by the empathetic imagination of others' pain, the effect worthy of this trait of unorthodox Shakespearean gentleness.

A passage in The History of Henry the Fourth [Part One] (1596) anticipates the conclusion of my argument thus far. Prince Hal tells Poins that he is "sworn brother to a leash of drawers, and can call them all by their christen names, as 'Tom,' 'Dick,' and 'Francis'" (2.5.6-8). And yet Hal in a tavern, simply to "drive away the time till Falstaffcomefs]" (2.5.24-25)--to relieve boredom, in other words--callously plays a painful trick upon one of these plebian "brothers," Francis, a waiter. Hal tells Poins to go into another room of the inn and repeatedly call "Francis!" while he engages the drawer in talk from which he cannot easily free himself. Seven times Poins calls for Francis, to his mounting fear and exasperation while Hal detains him in haphazard subjects such as how long he has left in his indenture, whether he will run away before its expiration, his age, the worth of the sugar he has given Hal, and whether he will rob his master (2.5.30-71). Finally Hal fiercely exclaims, "Away, you rogue! Dost thou not hear them call?" (2.5.73). Paralyzed Francis finds himself the object of the wrath of the innkeeper, who has entered pulled by a customers repeated shouts for a waiter. "What, standest thou still, and hearest such a calling? Look to the guests within," the Vintner snaps (2.5.74-75). Hal has potentially threatened his "sworn brother" Francis's employment merely to amuse himself for a little while. (33)

Erich Auerbach in Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1946) confirms playgoers' impression that Hal's sense of himself as Prince, as an aristocrat, precludes his thinking of a drawer as his brother. In chapter 13, titled "The Weary Prince," Auerbach focuses upon a later dialogue between Hal and his boon drinking companion Ned Poins, with whom he played the trick of taking from Falstaff the money the fat man's cronies have stolen from the Canterbury travelers for eventual restitution (The History of Henry the Fourth [Part One],1.2.141-71, 2.3.1-19). In this instance, Poins finds himself in Francis's position. In The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Hal tells Poins he is "exceeding weary" (2.2.1). Auerbach's argument has been about how the Classical separation of literary style appropriate to different social classes had for centuries sequestered within the genres of comedy and satire the representation of realistic details, especially those pertaining to the life of humble people. In Shakespeare's history plays, Auerbach finds a Renaissance admixture of noble class and realistic detail pointing forward to modern fiction, and he uses the opening dialogue of act 2, scene 2 of The Second Part of Henry the Fourth to illustrate this phenomenon. (34) Poins calls attention to Hal's gentle status by saying that he "had thought weariness durst not have attached one of so high blood" (2.2.2-3), an assumption Hal rejects by saying "Faith, it does me, though it discolours the complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it" (2.2.4-5). (35) "Doth it not show vilely in me to desire small beer?" he asks. Poins stresses Hal's gentle status by replying, "Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied [disposed] as to remember so weak a composition" (2.2.5-9).

Hal then admits to humble tastes in not only drink but also companionship, and he does so in language laced with realistic details that in earlier epochs would have been off-limits in literature for an upper-class character:
   Belike then my appetite was not princely got; for, by my troth, I
   do now remember the poor creature small beer. But indeed, these
   humble considerations make me out of love with my greatness. What a
   disgrace is it to me to remember thy name! Or to know thy face
   tomorrow! Or to take note how many pair of silk stockings thou
   hast--videlicet these, and those that were thy peach-coloured ones!
   Or to bear the inventory of thy shirts--as one for superfluity, and
   another for use. But that the tennis-court keeper knows better than
   I, for it is a low ebb of linen with thee when thou keepest not
   racket there. (2.2.9-18)

Auerbach notes that, among the "humble considerations" that occur to Hal and make him out of love with his own "greatness" is Poins, whose name and face, to say nothing of his clothing, he is ashamed to remember. (36) Here we have an instance of the "great" gentleman Hal's separation of himself from a representative of a lesser class that he would on other occasions, notably when in France he fights as King Henry the Fifth, imply is his brother. But even as he does here, he then omits mention of their names during imagined feast-day toasts and actual death-in-battle memorials.

Admittedly, Hal in the Henry the Fourth plays is rather coldly using his tavern companions to make himself look better by the contrast afforded by his later crafted reformation of character. He makes this much clear in his notorious soliloquy at the end of the second scene of The History of Henry the Fourth [Part One], He may occasionally call Edward Poins "sweet Ned" (2.5.19), but Machiavellian policy precludes his seriously thinking of Francis and Poins as his brothers. Still, the two passages analyzed above help establish the paradigm apparent in The Life of King Henry the Fifth, when he thinks little of the pain a peasant feels compared to his insomniac self. King Henry in this play never divulges that he is trying to make himself look better by swearing brotherhood with lower-class characters; as was previously mentioned, his intentions of making his soldiers, regardless of social class, his brothers via war deeds appear genuine and heartfelt. He simply seems unaware of the obstacle his enduring class consciousness presents to the achievement of this special brotherhood. Greenblatt notes that when Hal "boasts of his mastery of tavern slang," Shakespeare allows us "for a moment at least to imagine that we are witnessing a social bond, the human fellowship of the most extreme top and bottom of society in a homely ritual act of drinking together.... [This brotherhood is] what Victor Turner calls 'communitas--a union based on the momentary breaking of the hierarchical order that normally governs a community." (37) But imagining this leveling as a reality would be mistaken.

Regarded within the context of Shakespeare's career, Williams's capacity for imaginative empathy for suffering is no mean accomplishment. In The Tempest, forgiveness displaces vengeance within Prospero once he discovers this capacity. His spirit Ariel paints this face of the "old lord Gonzalo," whom Prosperos magic has cramped and stung, but who once provided Prospero and the babe Miranda with the books and necessities that have allowed them to survive in their island exile: "His tears run down his beard like winters drops / From eaves of reeds" (5.1.16-17). "Your charm so strongly works 'em," Ariel asserts, "that if you now beheld them your affections / Would become tender" (5.1.17-19). Prospero asks, "Dost thou think so, spirit?" And the Spirit replies, "Mine would, sir, were I human" (5.1.19-20). Ariel causes Prospero to deduce that, if the weeping face of Gonzalo can cause something non-human to feel pity, so much more should he do so, simply because he shares humanity with the old man. And so Prospero concludes that "the rarer action is / In virtue than in vengeance" (5.1.27-28).

The catalyst for this process is Prosperos empathetic imagination of Gonzalos face, the tears streaming down it. Shakespeare could have had Prospero encounter weeping Gonzalo, and so have been moved by the actual sight of what he has wrought. And then he could also have had Ariel say that the sight moves him, something non-human, to feel pity. But by having Ariel present a word picture possessing ekphrasis, the strength to pierce the imagination, Shakespeare instead focuses upon Prosperos imagination and its ability to empathize with suffering. (38) In an earlier play, he implied that absence and loss catalyzed this process. Absent in France, grief-stricken over her sisters' cruel treatment of their father, Cordelia imagines his suffering and weeps for him, twice moaning "father" (KingLear, 4.3.11-12, 24). And so she purely expresses the most exquisite forgiveness of him when they meet in act 4, scene 7, a spiritual ripeness that he reciprocates in this interlude.

Loss is less memorably a stimulus for imaginative empathy in Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy generally dated 1598. Claudio has rejected Hero at the altar as a fornicator. Friar Francis has a plot to reunite them by getting Claudio to believe that she is dead so that this loss will cause him to imaginatively revalue her and forgive her (4.1.222-29). Claudio does so, but his exclamations of her worth and his acceptance are so flat and unarticulated that the dynamics of the epistemology under analysis are weak (e.g. 5.1.235-36, 258-59; 5.3.22-23; 5.4.62). The agent for the imaginative epistemology detected in Much Ado About Nothing, later dramatized magnificently in King Lear, is significant. Loss could be the catalyst for Williams's capacity for empathizing with the suffering of others in a play written a year later. Williams would know firsthand the pain of relatively poor artisans and their families, of tattered scarecrows replacing men who have bought out the king's press (e.g. The History of Henry the Fourth, 4.2.11 -42), of soldiers' desperate widows and crying orphans, and of the many doors by which sickness and death enter lower-class life.

In the scene immediately after that containing Henry's Saint Crispin's Day speech, Shakespeare keeps his focus upon the question raised there of whether violent struggle can amount to a proving ground for brotherhood and generate gentility, or confirm its prior existence. There, Pistol captures the French soldier, Monsieur le Fer, and threatens to kill him if he does not agree to be ransomed. That this scene is also about gentlemen emerges when Le Fer, in French, asks Pistol if he is a gentleman. Pistol does not answer this question, but ignorantly thinks that "Seigneur Dieu"--Le Fer's exclamation "Lord God"--is his name. "O Seigneur Dew should be a gentleman," Pistol says in a comic aside (4.4.6-7). But Pistol does not want to be the Lord Gods gentleman if it means he must be his brother's keeper rather than an agent for disposing of him for material gain. Playgoers learned earlier that Pistol is a lieutenant, Ensign Pistol (3.6.10-15), and they have heard Pistol tell disguised Henry that he is "as good a gentleman as the Emperor" (4.1.43). But Shakespeare makes Pistol the butt of humor throughout his encounter with Monsieur le Fer in his ignorance of French and his malapropisms. This humor, along with the Boy's characterization of him at the end of the scene as a cowardly thieving "empty vessel" who ought to be hanged, causes playgoers to imagine that Pistol is not gentle (4.4.60-65). His cowardly, non-gentle nature predicts that he could never be made Henry's brother in a communion of blood-shedding.

The physical, often fatal violence required for this communion runs counter to Christian kingship. Shakespeare focuses in the late 1590s upon how problematic physical violence becomes for the practice of virtue, including that of brotherhood. Erasmus, in The Education of a Christian Prince (1540), asserted that the virtue of a Christian king consists of administration, kindness, and protection; waging an aggressive, violent war risks contradicting Christ's blessing of the peacemakers of the earth. (39) Shakespeare's unorthodox gentleman either avoids or moderates physical violence. George Page in The Merry Wives joins the Host of the Garter Inn in making sure that the gentlemen Sir Hugh Evans and Dr. Caius do not follow through with a codified duel that could wound or kill either or both of them. (40) And in As You Like It, the younger son Orlando, prone to physical violence early in the play, throttling Oliver and wrestling Charles, learns to moderate violence when the symbolism of his wrestling with the lion, a figure of wrath, and his killing of it suggests his mastery of his anger--even its elimination in his expression of brotherly forgiveness and love. (41)

But can Henry learn this moderation? "We are no tyrant, but a Christian king," Henry has told the Dauphin's ambassador, "Unto whose grace our passion is as subject / As is our wretches fettered in our prisons" (Henry V, 1.2.241-43). Desirous of being a Christian king, Henry substitutes grace for classical reason as the agent for controlling passion. Grace fitfully visits him, for he is not always above worldly passions. He certainly is not his brothers keeper when he angrily orders his troops to cut French prisoners' throats; playgoers, horrified at seeing them do so onstage before their eyes, sense he is deeply in the wrong. Introducing the phrase "brother's keeper" here is not that strange; in fact, it is appropriate. Those claiming Christ was always a pacifist have trouble explaining His saying that the Roman centurion who commands soldiers in all their actions has a greater faith than anyone He has found (Matt. 8:5-13). But the devout in Shakespeare's age and earlier did not need this citation to argue that warfare against the infidel and Antichrist was justified. The Medieval Crusades and the Reformation Protestant wars against the Pope's (Antichrist's) Spanish armies, allegorized, for example, in books 1 and 5 of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, were holy battles. But Shakespeare's Henry the Fifth does not have this rationale for attacking France. Self-serving Machiavellian policy in the play's second scene riddles the Archbishop of Canterbury's justification of Henry's right to France through an impossibly obscure explanation of the Salic law and his "sanctification" of his army's violently seizing the French throne. It also undercuts Henry's knowing acceptance of both of these devious arguments. Erasmus's Christian king would not selfishly make himself greater by bloodily expanding the circle of his rule. A Roman Catholic king in The Life of King Henry the Fifth orders his soldiers to cut the throats of fellow Roman Catholics, his neighbors in France. They certainly are not his brothers.

In The History of Henry the Fourth [Part One] and The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Henry--Hal--was part of the brotherhood of rogues that included Bardolph. Can he mercifully pardon Bardolph's capital crime of theft of a pax from a French church? Shakespeare makes brotherhood an issue by having Fluellen say that, were Bardolph his brother, he would still support the decision to hang him (3.6.47-49). Henry seems to have Christ's own example for pardoning thievery. During the Crucifixion, Christ on the cross told one of the thieves dying next to Him that he would join Him in paradise. But He did not save the other crucified thief who begged Him to do so, because this man did not acknowledge to Christ that he had committed a capital crime or that Christ had done nothing wrong--as his fellow thief did to his salvation (Luke 23:39-43). No one in The Life of King Henry the Fifth reports that Bardolph admitted his crime or asked for forgiveness; in fact, playgoers generally believe that he, like Pistol, is a reprobate.

But Henry could have mercifully tried to mollify Williams's, Bates's, and Court's anxieties about their possible deaths and their wives' and children's consequent ruin. That he cannot empathetically put himself in their places is clear from his fallacious argument--that the king is not responsible for their souls on his mission in France even as a master is not liable for his servant's spiritual welfare when the latter is killed by robbers taking money he is transporting for his master. Henry argues that the master does not purpose the servants death when he proposes his services (4.1.139-48). But a difference exists, since Henry's soldiers are much more likely to die on the king's mission than is the servant while carrying his master's money in peacetime. Williams could have said that Henry proposes some English soldiers' deaths because he knows some will die during the ensuing battle. He just does not know who they are. Henry's erroneous legalism derives from his inability to feel--to imagine--that these soldiers are his spiritual brothers. His failure to realize that his war is not a holy mission compounds his failure of imagination.

In the final analysis, King Henry the Fifth's sense of brotherhood focuses on the shadowy figures of The Dukes of Gloucester and Clarence and on one other aristocratic gentleman: King Charles VI of France. This is a small circle, given Henry's eloquent claims before the Battle of Agincourt. In act 2 of The Life of King Henry the Fifth, Charles asks Exeter if he comes "from our brother England"; after hearing his report, this monarch says that the Duke will soon hear his "full intent / Back to our brother England" (2.4.75,113-14). Aptly, Henry later wishes "unto our brother France and to our sister, / Health and fair time of day" (5.2.2-3). He also wishes joy to "our most fair and princely cousin Catherine" (5.2.4). Shakespeare peppers the dialogue in this last scene with "brother" and "sister" until Henry, left alone, woos Princess Catherine. This emphasis returns when Charles and Queen Isabel come back onstage, and the French king tells his "brother" Henry that he has agreed to his demand that Charles when writing to him address him grandiosely (5.2.315). But when Charles calls Henry "fair son," and urges him to take his daughter, he suddenly also becomes his father (his father-in-law) (5.2.320). Charles's brother/son takes his daughter--Henry's cousin/niece--as his wife.

Not only are these relationships confused; they are troubling. For sexual breeding is involved, as it is not when Prince Hal in The Second Part of Henry the Fourth says he will be a father to his brothers. A vague incestuous overtone materializes, not as strong as that between Gertrude and Claudius in Hamlet's imagination, but there nevertheless at the end of The Life of King Henry the Fifth. (42) Not only is King Henry the Fifth's idea of brotherhood restricted to the most absolute conventional class of gentlemen; that relation is also a bit disturbing as expressed. Upon initial consideration, a playgoer or reader might think Shakespeare's notion of gentility--of gentleness--is as ambiguous as Sir Thomas Erpingham's cloak, which Henry borrows to conceal his identity. The disguised king tells Pistol he is a "gentleman," when Pistol, not recognizing him, asks if he is an "officer [or].. .base, common and popular" (4.1.38-40). But Henry wearing this cloak appears to be a common foot soldier like Williams when the latter talks with him. Williams asks him what "captain" he serves under (4.1.91). When Henry names Erpingham, Williams judges Erpingham "a good old commander and a most kind gentleman" (4.1.93). Erpingham's cloak both is and is not that of a gentleman, just as gentleness shifts its meaning in The Life of King Henry the Fifth.

And yet protracted analysis of this history play yields the conclusion that the empathetic imagination, in which one modestly senses what it feels like to be another, could make possible a brotherhood of gentles that cuts across social classes and could include the lowest. Williams causes playgoers to think so. He can genuinely call his fellow soldier "brother John Bates" (4.1.84). Whether Shakespeare thought so of his brothers Gilbert, Richard, and Edmund, once he officially became a gentleman, is impossible to know. Edmund is the name of one of Shakespeare's most egregious villains, and it is also the name the youngest brother whose expensive funeral was almost certainly paid for by his eldest brother, the playwright William.

Stephen Greenblatt concludes his well-known analysis of Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy by claiming that these plays contain the radical doubts about absolutist royal power that they continually provoke in astute playgoers into an acquiescence before that power, even an acceptance of it. That is especially true, he asserts, of The Life of King Henry the Fifth because it, especially, stresses an attractive royal ceremony that occludes reflection on that powers often-Machiavellian means of perpetuation. (43) But King Henry's human weaknesses and his manipulative bent persist in the play with sufficient regularity, all the way to the wooing of Catherine, that ceremony never dazzles astute minds from registering them. As part of his assumption that a Shakespeare complied in the support of royal power compliments his lesser playgoers so as to divert them from too much awareness of his subversive dramaturgy, Greenblatt states that the Chorus's addressing them as "gentles all" is merely "fine flattery." (44) Flattery the Chorus's address may be, but it is also--more significantly, I would assert--the preface to a redefinition of a humane viewer of the spectacle of history--of life--both onstage and off that cuts across social classes and is available to "all."

Maurice Hunt

Baylor University


(1) Quotations from and references to The Life of King Henry the Fifth and other Shakespeare plays are taken from texts in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al., 2nd ed. (New York: Norton, 2008).

(2) Marsha S. Robinson, "Mythoi of Brotherhood: Generic Employment in Henry V," in Shakespeare's English Histories: A Quest for Form and Content, ed. John W. Velz (Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996), 145.

(3) Robinson claims that Henry fabricates a "romance of brotherly reconciliation" ("Mythoi," 159). She admits that such unity, however, is undercut by enduring "ethnic rebellion" between the Irish and other country elements of Henry's army, by the recalcitrant brotherhood of thieves figured in the trio of Pistol, Bardolph, and Nim, and by the "severed body parts" that the common soldier Williams says may persist and deny the brotherhood formed by the Last Judgment (162, 167).

(4) Christopher Dowd, "Polysemic Brotherhoods in Henry V," Studies in English Literature: 1500-1900 50 (2010): 337-53 (341). Like Robinson, Dowd recognizes that the unities formed in the play by these brotherhoods are fraught with tensions and fissures. He too cites the brotherhood of lowlife thieves and that of Celt and English soldiers as incapable of assimilation (345-50).

(5) Marianne Novy, "Shakespeare and the Bonds of Brotherhood," in Shakespeare's Personality, ed. Norman N. Holland, Sidney Homan, and Bernard J. Paris (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), 105.

(6) Robinson nicely explicates in detail the aspects of Christian communion made martial by Henry as the vehicle for secular fame in his Saint Crispins Day oration ("Mythoi," 160-62).

(7) Gen. 4:9. All biblical citations are to the Authorized (King James) Version.

(8) "Let brotherly love continue" (Heb. 13:1); "love as brethren" (1 Pet. 3:8); "And this commandment have we from [God], That he who loveth God love his brother also" (1 John 4:21). See also Rom. 12:10, 1 Thess. 4:9, and 2 Pet. 1:7.

(9) The Cain/Abel motif, in its literal (biological) meaning, applies almost exclusively to The Tragedy of King Richard II, whose action it frames. Thomas Mowbray at the beginning of this play exclaims that Thomas of Woodstock's blood, "like sacrificing Abel's, cries / Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth / To me for justice and rough chastisement" (1.1.104-6). At its conclusion, King Henry the Fourth tells Richard's murderer, Sir Piers Exton, "With Cain go wander through the shades of night, / And never show thy head by day or night" (5.6.43-44). In its literal sense, the motif basically concludes with the end of the play, for Richard, who bears primary responsibility for Woodstock's death, has paid the fatal price for it. The motif continues--as Henry's command to Exton suggests--but it does so in the broader sense through the rest of the Second Tetralogy, as Northumberland's wish that Cain's spirit possess every rebel soldier's heart implies. Its only specific application involves Henry the Fourth's hostility toward his second cousin and possibly rightful heir to the throne, Edmund Mortimer, whom he holds captive in Wales (The History of Henry the Fourth [Part One], 4.3.95-98). But Mortimer is not present at Shrewsbury (4.4.21-22), and his death is neither staged nor reported in the remainder of the Second Tetralogy. As has been noted, Prince Hal, both prior to and during his rule, cares for his brothers. King Henry the Fourth dies possibly having to face heavenly justice for his casual remark that leads to Richard's death.

(10) The Chorus goes on to say that he charms "the narrow seas / to give [playgoers] gentle pass" (2.0.38-39). He thus implies that "gentlefolk" deserve a "gentle"--calm, pleasant--voyage.

(11) Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost (New York: Scribner, 1973), 27.

(12) Ann Jennalie Cook, The Privileged Playgoers of Shakespeare's London, 1576-1624 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981), 17, 190-95. Andrew Gurr, in Playgoing in Shakespeare's London, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 69-70, also estimates that gentlemen, broadly defined, sometimes made up about half of amphitheater audiences in this age. Gurr also accepts the criterion of wage or manual labor as its boundary (62), and notes that Sir Thomas Smith's definition in 1583 derived its language from William Harrisons classification of gentlemen contributed to the 1577 edition of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Wales (58, 60).

(13) Significant in this respect is the fact that Cook's chapter titled "Plebian Playgoers" amounts to fifty pages of her book (Privileged Playgoers, 216-71).

(14) Samuel Schoenbaum, Shakespeare's Lives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), 21.

(15) Maurice Hunt, "Becoming a Gentleman in As You Like It]' in Shakespeare's As You Like It: Late Elizabethan Culture and Literary Representation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), 105-31; "'Gentleness' and Social Class in The Merry Wives of Windsor]' Comparative Drama 42 (2008): 409-32. That a townsman was not a gentleman is made clear in Sir John Davies's Epigram 17, "In Cosmum": "When ended is the play, the dance, and song, / A thousand townesmen, gentlemen, and whores / Porters and serving-men, together throng"; Sir John Davies, The Complete Poems, ed. Alexander B. Grosart (London: Chatto and Windus, 1876), 2:18.

(16) Hunt, "Becoming a Gentleman," 125-29; "'Gentleness' and Social Class," 426-28.

(17) William Shakespeare, Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies: A Facsimile Edition, ed. Helge Kokeritz (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954), n.p.

(18) Stephen Greenblatt, "Invisible Bullets," in Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 62.

(19) For just how extensive Shakespeare's reading of Montaigne could be, see Arthur Kirsch, "Virtue, Vice, and Compassion in Montaigne and The Tempest" Studies in English Literature: 1500-1900 37 (1997): 337-52, For the relevance of Montaigne's essays for Shakespeare's tragic protagonists, notably Hamlet, see Robert Ellrodt, "Self-Consciousness in Montaigne and Shakespeare," Shakespeare Survey 28 (1975): 37-50.

(20) Ellrodt, "Self-Consciousness," 38-39,

(21) Michel de Montaigne, "Of the force of Imagination," in The Essays of Montaigne, trans. John Florio (New York: AMS Press, 1967), 1:90.

(22) Quoted in Kirsch, "Virtue, Vice, and Compassion," 344.

(23) Greenblatt, "Invisible Bullets," 61.

(24) Grace Tiffany, "Rank, Insults, and Weaponry in Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy," Papers on Language and Literature 47 (2011): 295-317 (299).

(25) Jennifer Low, "'Those Proud Titles Thou Hast Won': Sovereignty, Power, and Combat in Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy," Comparative Drama 34 (2000): 269-90. Also see Charles Edelman, Brawl Ridiculous: Swordfighting in Shakespeare's Plays (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992), 149-50.

(26) Jennifer Low, Manhood and the Duel: Masculinity in Early Modern Drama and Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 13-14.

(27) This paragraph's points are more fully made by Tiffany, "Rank, Insults, and Weaponry," 298-99.

(28) Ibid., 295, 302; Low, "Those Proud Titles," 278-79, 281. Both Tiffany (302-3) and Low (282-85) also argue that in The Second Part of Henry the Fourth and The Life of King Henry the Fifth, Prince Hal and King Henry choose to use the "rapier" of a nimble, flexible tongue to win advantage by rhetorical rather than physically violent means.

(29) See Susan Snyder, "Ourselves Alone: The Challenge to Single Combat in Shakespeare," Studies in English Literature: 1500-1900 20 (1980): 201-16 (213-14).

(30) OED, 2nd ed., s.v. "fellow," 9 sb.; 10 a, b sb. Henry concludes his mouth-filling taxonomy of the French gentlemen and aristocrats dead at Agincourt as amounting to a "royal fellowship of death" (4.8.95). The phrase invites auditors to anticipate his terming the dead English warriors, especially the gentry, a "brotherhood of death" or a "royal brotherhood of death," but he articulates neither phrase.

(31) Eugene M. Waith, "The Metamorphosis of Violence in Titus Andronicus" Shakespeare Survey 10 (1957): 39-49 (42-43,47), thinks that "the combination of crude violence with.. .fanciful description" in Titus suggests that "Shakespeare was burlesquing the style of his contemporaries" (39). See also William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, ed. J. Dover Wilson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948), li-lvi.

(32) Waith asserts that "the elegant urbanity of [Ovid's] narrations [in the Metamorphoses] implies a considerable detachment" ("Metamorphosis of Violence," 42).

(33) Greenblatt argues that Hal in this scene focuses upon "a drastic reduction of human possibility" in asserting that Francis "should have fewer words than a parrot" (2.5.9-92) and in his implication of "the linguistic poverty upon which he plays" ("Invisible Bullets," 44).

(34) Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, trans. Willard R. Trask (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 312-14.

(35) Hal means that admitting his weariness "mars [his] noble countenance (by turning it pale from weakness or red from shame)." Greenblatt, The Norton Shakespeare, 1352n2.

(36) Auerbach, Mimesis, 313.

(37) Greenblatt, "Invisible Bullets," 49.

(38) Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry, ed. Geoffrey Shepherd (London: Thomas Nelson, 1965), 101, 107-8.

(39) Desiderius Erasmus, The Education of A Christian Prince, ed. Lester K. Born (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936), 168, 177, 249, 251.

(40) Hunt, '"Gentleness' and Social Class," 426.

(41) Hunt, "Becoming a Gentleman," 117-24, esp. 123-24.

(42) When Claudius addresses Hamlet as "my cousin"--my nephew--"and my son," Hamlet sarcastically alludes to his belief that his uncle's remarriage is incestuous by exclaiming "a little more than kin [a nephew] and less than kind [a natural son]," and by punning that he is "too much i'th' sun" when Claudius implies that he has for too long mourned his father's death by dressing in black (1.2.65-67).

(43) Greenblatt, "Invisible Bullets," 56, 58. For analyses of ceremony in The Life of King Henry the Fifth, see Richard F. Hardin, Civil Idolatry: Desacralizing and Monarchy in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1992), 124-63; Jeffrey Knapp, Shakespeare's Tribe: Church, Nation, and Theater in Renaissance England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 115-40; and Matthew J. Smith, "The Experience of Ceremony in Henry V" Studies in English Literature: 1500-1900 54 (2014): 401-21.

(44) Greenblatt, "Invisible Bullets," 63.
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Date:Mar 22, 2015
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