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Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II

Described by Dr. White as an elegy – both a paean and lament directed towards a dying and passing world – this second of Shakespeare’s plays on Henry IV features the recurring themes of death, disease, and corruption. Again, Hal (the future Henry V) takes center stage, with a view towards his eventual role in the final of the Henry plays. In this extensive conference, Dr. White addresses, along with making many other insightful and passing observations, the perplexing prologue offered by an allegorical character; a climactic battle which never occurs; themes of frustration and disappointment (consonant with the overall focus of the play); and, as in the play’s predecessor, Henry IV, Part 1, the person and wit of the inimitable Falstaff.

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