King Henry VI, Part 1 | Literature Criticism Phyllis Rackin

This literature criticism consists of approximately 28 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry VI, Part 1.
This section contains 8,206 words
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Phyllis Rackin

SOURCE: "Historical Kings/Theatrical Clowns," in Stages of History: Shakespeare 's English Chronicles, Cornell University Press, 1990, pp. 201-47.

In this essay, Rackin contends that whereas the female characters in 1 Henry VI symbolically threaten the patriarchal, elitist social order, the plebian men in 2 Henry VI literalize that threat.

Captured by her English enemies, Joan is condemned to die at the end of 1 Henry VI, despite her (probably false) claims to be pregnant with an illegitimate child. Nonetheless, there is a sense in which her fictitious bastard progeny survive, reappearing in various forms in Shakespeare's remaining history plays, continuing and developing her antihistorical project. The women in the succeeding Henry VI plays preserve Joan's illicit legacy of witchcraft and adultery, but most of the characters who take up her agenda will be men. Women were not the only persons...

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This section contains 8,206 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Phyllis Rackin