Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Laurence Olivier’s Charismatic Version of History

From Medievalists:
Research into Shakespeare’s sources will prove interesting and productive. Try, for example, Holinshed (e.g. Macbeth as well as Henry V), More (Richard III), Saxo (Hamlet), Plutarch (Julius Caesar), Plautus (The Comedy of Errors), Virgil (The Tempest) or Boccaccio (Cymbeline); listed are only a few of the sources and plays influenced by these writers. Brief exploration will provide much more information about his characters – real or mythological – enriching knowledge and enjoyment of the text. If Shakespeare could make such fascinating drama out of past historical or mythological characters, what might he do with the life of a ruler, about whom plenty had been written and verbally passed down since his death in 1422? Henry V had died only about 175 years before the play was written and was –according to contemporary sources but not precisely in these words – ‘quite a legend’! (Read more.)

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