Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama

Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama

Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama ❰KINDLE❯ ❄ Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama Author Peter Saccio – Far than any professional historian Shakespeare is responsible for whatever notions most of us possess about English medieval history Anyone who appreciates the dramatic action of Shakespeare's histor Kings: History, PDF/EPUB ç Far than any professional historian Shakespeare is responsible for whatever Shakespeare's English eBook ✓ notions most of us possess about English medieval history Anyone who English Kings: History, PDF ☆ appreciates the dramatic action of Shakespeare's history plays but is confused English Kings: History, Chronicle, and PDF/EPUB ² by much of the historical detail will welcome this guide to the Richards Edwards Henrys Warwicks and Norfolks who ruled and fought across Shakespeare's page and stage Not only theater goers and students but today's film goers who want to enrich their understanding of film adaptations of plays such as Richard III and Henry V will find this revised edition of Shakespeare's English Kings to be an essential companionSaccio's engaging narrative weaves together three threads medieval English history according to the Tudor chroniclers who provided Shakespeare with his material that history as understood by modern scholars and the action of the plays themselves Including a new preface a revised further reading list genealogical charts an appendix of names and titles and an index the second edition of Shakespeare's English Kings offers excellent background reading for all of the ten history plays.

10 thoughts on “Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama

  1. Alex Alex says:

    My summer project was to read each of Shakespeare's ten history plays along with their respective chapters in this book I failed in that I just couldn't be assed to read King John Screw that play I hear it sucks It doesn't even talk about the Magna Carta wtf? ETA I eventually read it It sucksAnywaythe idea was to say hi to Shakespeare and also to get a grasp on 15th century English history Saccio's book goes through the latter alerting you when Shakespeare's being particularly accurate Richard II and when he's totally making shit up Henry VIIt also attempts to make sense of the bedlam of nobles who spend all ten plays jockeying with and betraying each other That's a particularly tall order; anyone who's read one of Shakespeare's histories knows that there are several dozen Buckinghams Gloucesters etc per play and you never have any idea what they're sucking up or bitching about You skimmed the scenes featuring lots of nobles talking didn't you? Of course you did Everyone didSaccio does okay though I found the book engaging and I got a little out of the plays because I or less understood each player's position and back storyI particularly appreciate what nerds call the Henriad Richard II Henry IV 1 2 and Henry V It's not like a news flash that those are great but they're great I have even less love for Henry VI 1 3; those plays legitimately suck with the sole exception that it's sortof fun reading Shakespeare's enthusiastically brutal character assassination of Joan of Arc Richard III stands up and retains its position as one of my favorites And no one should ever read Henry VIIISo dorktastic project cool book; I had fun I give it the thumbs up

  2. Joseph McGarry Joseph McGarry says:

    I once had a high school English teacher describe Shakespeare's histories as boring Part of the reason for that is that it is easy to get lost in the murk of history The events happened around 600 years ago and seem like something out of a Renaissance Fair This is what Dr Saccio's book works to explain He very succinctly goes through the over 100 years of history discussed in the history plays Henry IV parts 12 Henry V Richard III Henry VI parts 1 3 Richard II King John and Henry VIII At times it's hard to imagine how England could have survived There were always uestions over who was the legitimate heir to the throne always battles over land wars with France arranged marriages and bills of attainder prosecuting certain people for treason many times on trumped up charges This last part explains why the drafters of the US Constitution inserted a specific clause prohibiting bills of attainder Henry VIII also deals a bit with the Church of England's break with Rome This is great material for any kind of dramatic play Dr Saccio shows the differences between the actual history as far as we know and Shakespeare's version Shakespeare occasionally telescopes events has people present at certain locations who weren't actually there and ages younger characters to be present for dramatic effect In this Shakespeare is no different than modern screenwriters who will telescope events and composite characters to keep the movie under 2 hours In Shakespeare's case he was trying to show general themes betrayal murder greed incompetence to show how the history evolved The original book was written in 1977 Dr Saccio adds an Afterword written in 2000 to explain the evolution of scholarship on Shakespeare since 1977Of the history plays 3 seem to be the most widely performed today 1 Henry IV Henry V and Richard III These are performed not because of any history involved but because of the characters In 1 Henry IV modern performers focus on the character of Falstaff who as Dr Saccio points out is a Shakespearean invention He is the fat knight and in many cases is portrayed as a buffoon His famous line Discretion is the better part of valor which he uses to explain his hiding out in the bar instead of taking part in the battle Supposedly ueen Elizabeth I was so enthralled with Falstaff that she asked Shakespeare to write another play featuring him The result was Merry Wives of Windsor Shakespeare's Henry V is almost the ideal king I believe Shakespeare had the same view I've seen modern business books cit Shakespeare's Henry V as a model of organizational leadership One scene that isn't addressed in the book is the famous scene where King Henry disguises himself as a commoner and mingles among his troops the night before the battle at Agincourt Was this a Shakespearean invention or was there some historical basis for this? The book doesn't answer this uestion I suspect that his band of brothers speech was all Shakespeare The original motivational speech predating Win one for the Gipper by 300 years As a Notre Dame graduate I love that speech GO IRISH Shakespeare's Richard III by contrast is the antithesis of what a king should be He is the living embodiment of Machiavelli's Prince always conniving and scheming to get the throne until he falls at the battle of Bosworth His famous line A horse A horse My kingdom for a horse is Shakespeare's invention So is the humpback and the crooked nose often used by those who portray Richard As Dr Saccio points out the real Richard wasn't all that bad but wasn't all good either The truth is somewhere in the middle Henry VIII is a historical footnote At the premiere of Henry VIII at the Globe Theater one of the stagehands apparently got drunk and fired off a cannon which burned the Globe Theater to the ground If you look at the current situation with England and France today it's almost hard to believe things were any different Today the Chunnel connects England and France by rail under the English Channel The 2014 Tour de France spent the first 3 days in England before moving to France It received a royal opening by Prince William Duchess Kate and Prince Harry ueen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 62 years as of 2014 1952 present surpassed only by ueen Victoria's 64 years 1837 1901 In 2011 Parliament passed legislation removing the preference for boys to rule and removing the prohibition on the King or ueen marrying a Catholic You wonder if all of drama described in Dr Saccio's book was necessary All in all this is an excellent book for those who want to know about Shakespeare's kings

  3. Melinda Melinda says:

    Read again in 2019 Just excellent Highly recommended2015 ReviewAfter listening to The Teaching Company course by Peter Saccio The Word and the Action which is excellent by the way I looked for the book he referenced about the history of the Plantaganets thru the lens of Shakespeare's histories Am looking forward to reading thisHave read the book now and really enjoyed it The juxtaposition of the real history sources Shakespeare used with the real history of what happened combined with the way Shakespeare has to craft the history for a successful dramatic play all adds up to a delightful excursion into how history is presented via the theater

  4. Sandra Sandra says:

    This is a very good book if you like Shakespeare which I do and actual real history which I do Much recommended on those grounds

  5. Brian Brian says:

    Too often one's enjoyment of Shakespeare's History plays is muddied up by the fact that so much of the history is not taught in schools and even when it is it is not at the depth that one needs to get the full enjoyment from the plays Peter Saccio has easily solved that problem with Shakespeare's English Kings This is a wonderful erudite concise and easy to follow text that clears up the actual history behind Shakespeare's dramatizations It also serves as an excellent guide to a period of English history that and people know less and less aboutMr Saccio has written a book that does not read as an academic text but instead reads as a collouial history lesson This makes it accessible and is a great strength of the text Another plus is the book's organization After an intro that explains necessary background and other details the book is arranged by monarch with each king's reign getting a chapter The text is arranged in historical order starting with the reign of Richard II as it is this play which Shakespeare uses to start the history cycle Saccio then takes the reader up through the end of the Plantagenet line I actually know what that means now with Richard III He also devotes a chapter to the two Shakespeare history plays that do not fall into the chronology King John and Henry VIII The chapters examine the history as we know it the history as Shakespeare knew it through his sources differences between the two and how the Bard incorporated the history he does use into his worksSaccio himself tells the reader you can read the text all the way through as a coherent unified book as I did or you can read the chapter dealing with the play of Shakespeare's that you are interested in He has written the book so that both approaches workThis book will aid you in a greater appreciation of Shakespeare's oft maligned history plays However it also is worthwhile as a standalone history of the English monarchy especially in regards to the very confusing story of the War of the Roses It is worth your efforts

  6. Heidi Schmidt Heidi Schmidt says:

    So I've marked this as finished which isn't strictly accurate This book was recommended to me by a friend when I was hired as dramaturg research assistant for the non theatre folk for a production of Richard III Saccio has dedicated chapters to each of Shakespeare's eight major history plays comparing what was knownbelievedwritten at the time Shakespeare wrote each play what we now know about the actual history and how Shakespeare put his own twist on things through dramatic license time compression etc My reading focused on the introduction one of the most lucid easy to follow explanations of the Plantagenets and familial conflicts through the Wars of the Roses I've ever read and the chapters on Henry VI parts 1 3 and of course the chapter on Richard III I've joked that working on Shakespeare's history plays is like watching an intricate sci fi TV show or movie with time travel and alternate timelines Saccio does a great job delineating the multiple timelines what Shakespeare wrote what 16th century historians wrote how later historians re conceived the narrative etc I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in Shakespeare's history plays or for that matter anyone with an interest in English medieval history and royal succession

  7. Kleopatra Kleopatra says:

    An amazingly useful tool for studying Shakespeare's history plays lays a good historical foundation for people like me or less totally ignorant about early modern British history especially all things royalty and is as concise as I imagine it can possibly get with conveying this amount of information Clearly has been edited carefully and well and the result is some excellent precise concise interesting at times very witty background reading for Shakespeare's history playsOne tiny drawback sometimes gets a bit too dense I found Had to take meticulous notes as I was reading otherwise I could easily get lost in the amount of information I was trying to take in but maybe this wouldn't be such a big issue for someone well read in English history

  8. Anthony Bracciante Anthony Bracciante says:

    This book explores the very complicated history of the English Kings and the nobility that populate the so called histories of William Shakespeare It discusses in detail how for dramatic purposes the bard of Avon often combined characters changed the order that events occurred in and had his characters appear on stage long after their historic death or as adults when they were really still in their infancy I read this book straight through but it really should be read on a King by King basis prior to either seeing or reading one of Shakespeare's plays which is how I will use it in the future

  9. Tally, The Chatty Introvert Tally, The Chatty Introvert says:

    Great resource for learning about the plays themselves and the people in them as well as how much literary license vs historical truth went into each play I just wish I'd found this book before I started reading the plays it puts things in context a lot better and gives a Yank like me a good crash course in British monarchical history and all the craziness that went with itI think it's an essential resource for digging in deeper and appreciating the history even so if you're planning on learning the history through the plays Best to work with both

  10. Jay Jay says:

    Exceptionally well written book about the English kings that were part of Shakespeare's history plays In fine detail the author differentiates the actual historical events versus what Shakespeare uses in his play He shows how many of the events do not fit into a tight dramatic plotline as Shakespeare would like us to believe but are at times displaced or irreverent to actual history

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