King Henry VI, Part 1 | Critical Essay by Wayne L. Billings

This literature criticism consists of approximately 36 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry VI, Part 1.
This section contains 10,637 words
(approx. 36 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Wayne L. Billings

Critical Essay by Wayne L. Billings

SOURCE: “Ironic Lapses: Plotting in Henry VI,” in Studies in the Literary Imagination, Vol. 5, No. 1, April, 1972, pp. 27-49.

In the essay below, Billings links the historical failures of the characters in Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3 to Shakespeare's theme of a decline in heroic virtues and ideals, and examines the structural role of heroic irony in the plays.

Henry VI ironically adapts the conventions of heroic drama to the matter of the Lancastrian losses, first of France and secondly of England. So dominant are the irony and the heroic conventions that the Tudor propaganda of Hall's Union and Holinshed's Chronicles1 is obscured by the characters' sense of heroic duties and by the frequent frustration both of heroic intent and fulfilment of duty. Although the Tudor historians and Shakespeare show that civil dissensions weakened England and...

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This section contains 10,637 words
(approx. 36 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Wayne L. Billings