The History Plays of Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy

Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 2:00am to Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 5:00am
Helen S. Schaefer Building Dorothy Rubel Room 1508 E. Helen Street Tucson, Arizona 85721

This is a multi-session seminar and must be taken as a series.

Peter Medine, Department of English

Thursdays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2013

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. (Henry IV, Part 2)

Of his ten histories, the four interrelated plays forming the second tetralogy are among Shakespeare's greatest theatrical achievements. These works, which deal with the period of 1400 to 1420, include Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, and Henry V. They feature a rich variety of characters: the tragic Richard II, the ruthlessly ambitious and ultimately remorseful Henry IV, the heroic Henry V, and the brilliantly comic Falstaff. The plays focus on some of the enduring political questions: the transference of power from one reign or government to another, the establishment of political legitimacy, the limits of power, and the inscrutability of historical forces. But they also deal with intensely human experiences and psychology—personal loyalties, family relationships, growing up and growing old, and the solitariness of political leadership.

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