King Henry V | Critical Essay by Alexander Harrington

This literature criticism consists of approximately 24 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry V.
This section contains 2,111 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David Steinsaltz

Critical Essay by Alexander Harrington

SOURCE: Harrington, Alexander. “War and William Shakespeare.” Dissent 50, no. 4 (fall 2003): 89-91.

In the following essay, Harrington contends that the moral ambiguity of Henry V lends itself to both pro-war and anti-war productions of the play.

This past winter, as the debate over invading Iraq intensified, I received an e-mail announcement for an “antiwar” production of Shakespeare's Henry V being staged in Los Angeles. For people who know the play only from Laurence Olivier's Anglo-patriotic, World-War-II-era movie, this may be puzzling. However, it will come as no surprise to those familiar with the play's production and critical history. That Henry V can support both patriotic prowar and critical antiwar interpretations has been discussed to a fare-thee-well among Shakespeare critics, scholars, and directors.

Shakespeare's two-sided position can be seen even in a very quick...

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This section contains 2,111 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David Steinsaltz