King Henry IV, Part I | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Robert L. Reid

This literature criticism consists of approximately 40 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry IV, Part I.
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Critical Essay by Robert L. Reid

SOURCE: Reid, Robert L. “Humoral Psychology in Shakespeare's Henriad.Comparative Drama 4, no. 4 (winter 1996-97): 471-502.

In the following essay, Reid maintains that the four principal characters of Henry IV, Part 1 depict the varied and relational psychological temperaments associated with the classical, Galenic system of “humors.” Based on this system, Reid interprets King Henry IV as melancholic, Hotspur as choleric, Falstaff as phlegmatic, and Hal as sanguine.

A literary survey of Galenic usages between 1350 and 1700 confirms Shakespeare's and Jonson's dominion as deliberate humoralists, especially in the plays of 1597-1606: Chaucer uses “humor” 8 times, Lyly 23, Spenser 22, Shakespeare 141, Jonson 236, Donne 9, and Milton 5. Contrary to popular opinion, however, the locus classicus of humoral psychology is not the voguish humor-comedy of Chapman (1597) or Jonson (1598-99), but Shakespeare...

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This section contains 11,874 words
(approx. 40 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert L. Reid