King Henry VI, Part 1 | Critical Essay by Faye L. Kelly

This literature criticism consists of approximately 24 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry VI, Part 1.
This section contains 7,150 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Faye L. Kelly

Critical Essay by Faye L. Kelly

SOURCE: “Oaths in Shakespeare's Henry VI Plays,” in Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 4, Autumn, 1973, pp. 357-71.

In the essay below, Kelly explores the structural, thematic, and unifying significance of oaths—kept and broken—in Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3.

When Pistol said to Bardolph, “A sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course” (Henry V), he was stating not only a common Elizabethan belief, but also a principle of Shakespearean dramatic construction. In drama as in life, an oath calls for action. In drama, whenever a character swears to do something or not to do something, plot takes form as a direct result of his regard for his word. If the swearer honors his oath, the action takes one course; if he breaks his oath, the action veers...

(read more)

This section contains 7,150 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Faye L. Kelly