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09/28/2013

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(F-
 
THtrHIDDtrN
SHAKtrSPtrARtr
To
William
Shakespeare,
workingactor-playwright,
the
ban-
ning
of
books,
the
deleting
of
passages
fromaplay
by
thecensor,
and
the
closing
of
theaters
as
a
formofpolitical
re-
prisalwereeveryday
problems.
His
fellow
Londoners
were
beingexiled,
imprisoned,maimed,
and
tortured
forpolitical
dissent.
There
vvas
an un-
popular
Irishwar,
openscheming
for
the
succession,
bitterfactionalism
at
court.
Shakespeare
was
in
the middle
of
all
this
turmoil.Yetcritics would
have
us
believe
thathe
re-
mained
the aloof
Olympian,
removed
in
interest
from
his
world
and
its
agonies.
Now
ThomasH.fameson,
in
a
challenging
expositionof
the
plays
of
this
petiod,
demonstrates
that
Shakespeare
was
in
fact
a
vigorous
andopen
rebelagainstthe new
Tudortyranny.
Thepoet's
critical
commentary
on
his
times
is
subtle
andmasked,
but
it
ispresent-andprobably
was
intelligibleto
his
contemporaries.
In
uncovering
Shakespeare's
political
dissent
as
set down
in
his
plays,
]ameson
has
created
an
exciting
anddisturbing
thesis
that
will
fascinate
both
scholarand reader.
?he Hidden
Shckespeare
is
an
importantcontributionnotonly to textual
analysis
butto
a
betterunderstanding
of
the
true
sources
of
greatness
in
our
greatest
dramatist.
1 IIENRY
V
t
When
Art
lVas Tongue-tieil
bg
Autlrority
ll
is
likelythal
The
Life
of King
Henry
the
Fifth
was one
of
the
plirys
writtenby
Shakespeare
during
a
low
period
in
his
life,
the
t'r'rrr
1599.
Thingswere much
out
of
iointin
the
years
immediately
proceding
Elizabeth's
death-court
favorites
fallen out
of
grace,
rrrr
rrnpopular
Irish
war,open
scheming
for
the
succession,censor-
rlrip
of
booksand
play
productions.
It
is
no
greatwonderthat
trone
of
theplays
Shakespeare
produced
in
those
years(exclusive
ol
comedies) contain
what we
are
prone
tothinkof
as
"whole"
I
rcloes
orprotagonists.
'l'he
least
whole
of
the
lot
by faris
Harry
Monmouth
from
Ilnwy
V.
Coming
to
this
play
fresh
from
reading
the
preceding
llistories
one
may
be
forgiven
for
asking,
"What
on
earth
has
hap-
pcned
to Prince
HalP'Who
is
this
excessivelypassionate
yet
pious
nrirn
who
sprang
unheralded
out
of
the
Boar's
Head
Tavern
in
i,irrstcheap
to become
the conquerorof
France?
so mix'd
in
him;il";
iiiJli*,S:11'""u
"n
And
say
toall
theworld,'This
wasa
mant'Arry
heroicpastcalls
for
such
heroes,
but
the
lineshere
quotedno
more
suit
Harry
Monmouth
than they
did
Brutus,
of
whomtlrcy
were
spoken
in
luli,us
Caesar,
produced
in
the
sameyear,
151)9.
The
huzzas,
the
gufiaws,
the spine-tingling,throat-catching
MIN
RVA
PR
SS
Cover
design:
Emil
Antonucci
l4C,
6

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