The Lion in Winter - Act 1, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

Anthony Harvey
This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Lion in Winter.
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Act 1, Scene 1 Summary

This play places several historical characters, principally King Henry II of England and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, into the fictionalized context of a family gathering at Christmas and dramatizes the personal and political conflicts that result. In a series of wittily written confrontations, the characters manipulate each other like pieces on a chessboard, constantly seeking weaknesses in each other and jockeying for advantage. By the end of the play the situation is the same as when it started--nothing has been resolved, but everybody, including the audience, has enjoyed the game.

The first scene takes place in the bedchamber of Henry's mistress, Alais (Alice). As Alais tries on a small crown, Henry tells her she's making a futile gesture and tells her to hurry. She says she's going to stay in her room and he can send up reports of what's happening, but he insists...

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This section contains 1,208 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Lion in Winter Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Lion in Winter from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.