King Henry IV, Part I | Critical Essay by Derek Cohen

This literature criticism consists of approximately 31 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry IV, Part I.
This section contains 9,137 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Derek Cohen

Critical Essay by Derek Cohen

SOURCE: Cohen, Derek. “History and the Nation in Richard II and Henry IV.Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 42, no. 2 (spring 2002): 293-315.

In the following essay, Cohen assesses the perception of history in the Henry IV plays, emphasizing a turbulent process of nation-building that survives both the murder and usurpation of Richard II and the pervasive moral uncertainty of Henry IV, Part 2.

I

The past, in the figure of the murdered King Richard, haunts the protagonists of the Henry IV plays. The relation between the Richard they remember or merely imagine and the Richard of Richard II is fraught with emotional, moral, and ideological consequences. Richard's post-mortem power turns out to be greater than that he possessed alive and figures significantly in the various constructions of the English nation of these histories. His murder is the transforming...

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This section contains 9,137 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Derek Cohen