King Henry IV, Part I | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by David Bevington

This literature criticism consists of approximately 38 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry IV, Part I.
This section contains 11,366 words
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Critical Essay by David Bevington

SOURCE: Bevington, David. Introduction to The Oxford Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part I, edited by David Bevington, pp. 1-110. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.

In the following excerpt, Bevington discusses the structural unity and major themes of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and considers the dramas' exposition of identity, honor, cowardice, father-son relations, and princely education.

The Question of Structural Unity

The debate over [E. M. W.] Tillyard's insistence on Elizabethan world-order as the key to Shakespeare's history plays has interesting ramifications, not only for characterization—e.g. is Falstaff a Vice tempter or a free spirit?—but also for structure. Are 1 and 2 Henry IV a unified whole, and integrally part of the larger structure of the Henriad, or is each play a separate theatrical event? Tillyard's argument … impels him towards the unitary view...

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This section contains 11,366 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David Bevington