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How Shakespeare Put Politics on the StagePower and Succession in the History Plays$
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Peter Lake

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300222715

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300222715.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

How not to go there: 1 Henry VI as prequel and alternative ending

How not to go there: 1 Henry VI as prequel and alternative ending

Chapter:
(p.125) Chapter 5 How not to go there: 1 Henry VI as prequel and alternative ending
Source:
How Shakespeare Put Politics on the Stage
Author(s):

Peter Lake

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300222715.003.0005

This chapter focuses on 1 Henry VI. Some critics see it as the first part of a trilogy. Others have identified it as a sort of prequel, written after the success of the plays that have become known as 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI had rendered a return to the same subject a profitable prospect. Ultimately, 1 Henry VI reshuffles the pack of narrative tropes and ideological materials it inherited from parts II and III. It relocates the threat of female political agency outside England and organises it under the sign not merely of witchcraft but of popery. It similarly displaces the locus of ancient political virtue from civil to military affairs, and downgrades the role of the king. Still central is the topos of noble faction, but that faction is centred not on the succession but rather on the conduct of the war.

Keywords:   1 Henry VI, female political agency, witchcraft, popery, political virtue, military affairs, noble faction

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