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King Henry IV, Part I Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

Source: "The Histories," in The Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard, Viking, 1993, pp. 156-235.

[Epstein offers a definition of the history play, comments on the themes typically covered in history Plays, and offers, in historical order, an account of the events that take place in Shakespeare's histories.]

The terms "history" and "chronicle" plays refer to the two tetralogies, or the eight plays covering the reigns of English monarchs from that of Richard IT to that of Richard III, roughly from the late 1390s through the establishment of the Tudor dynasty in 1485. The cycle begins with the abdication of Richard II and ends with the death of Richard III. Shakespeare also wrote two other history plays that don't fall within this time span, King John and Henry VIII, but they won't immediately concern us, since John isn't all that interesting and Henry VIII...

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This section contains 1,040 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our King Henry IV, Part I Study Guide
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King Henry IV, Part I from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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