View Full Version : I finally get it! - the histories

12-01-2004, 10:37 PM
I have always been partial to Shakespeare but I had never understood the History plays and they had been a bane to me. :brickwall Teachers would assign one of the Henry plays or something and only give a quiz on it; those would usually be my drop quizes.

However, I needed to understand Richard II because I needed to write a five page paper with it, Lear, and Marlowe's Edward II. I couldn't get out of it this time, so I found the geneology of the kings, and now I get it! Unfortunately now I'm upset because I feel cheated. :flare: :flare: I wasted about six years hating a good genre of plays becuase no one took the time to explain it to me, I had to look it up myself. It never occured to me to do this before because I usually just understand his plays. I enjoyed Richard II so much that when I finish my paper I'm anxious to start Henry IV.

When I start teaching, I'm determined to give this one a shot. Or am I the only one who had that problem?

12-02-2004, 01:38 AM
I know exactly what you mean, Shea. Shakespeare's historical plays seemed far more difficult to read than his tragedies and comedies, but once one does understand the historics, they result in many readers' favorites. I admit, there still thrive a few Shakespeare historical plays that I probably fail to understand completely, but they still amuse me, and will most likely appear more amazing once I comprehend them.

12-02-2004, 12:49 PM
Yes..I definately agree with you there Shea. I think that you can't fully appreciate the plays without any knowledge of the kings and historical circumstance of the time....You'll be a great teacher being able to explain it properly to your students! :nod:

I read Henry IV Part one in detail for my a.s coursework last year...and loved it! Fortunately my teacher was insanely in love Hotspur so she made sure she informed us of all the descendants and context. You'll really enjoy the play! :nod:

Shore Dude
12-03-2004, 09:48 AM
Oh my goodness... Shakespeare's historical plays are great. Like you said, you need a good teacher to set these up for the students.

One of my favorite passages of Shakespeare's is in Henry IV, Part I. I don't want to reveal it, because it could ruin the story for you, but it takes place in the second to last scene of the play. Here's a hint. Look out for one of the battle scenes... One of Prince Hal's last monologues. You should know it when you get to it. It burns with intensity. And if you don't, when you're done reading it, pm me...

12-03-2004, 11:14 AM
I remember this one now. My Early Shakespeare prof had us read Henry IV part 1, and I was really frustrated because I wanted to enjoy the antics of Falstaff, but I kept getting lost and never finished reading it.

I can hardly wait till my last exam is over!:D

Shore Dude
12-03-2004, 11:26 AM
So do you know the general plot? What happens with the battles, etc.?

(Because I am kind of anxious to tell you that passage...)

12-03-2004, 11:41 AM
Sadly, no. My last exam is Tueday (Dec 7) unless I get a bad grade on my math test that kicked my butt today. In which case I'll have to take the final on Wednesday (it was optional). But when I'm done, I will read it! ;)

12-05-2004, 05:27 PM
Two words- Henry V. Thats all I have to say.

12-13-2004, 04:36 PM
Well, back when i first started my class, I posted that Richard II completely lost me and I was looking for help in any direction. Now, I am happy to say that it is one of my favorite plays along with Henry IV. Once you understand the fundamentals, they make so much sense. So, Shea, you were obviously not the only one in that predicament.

01-12-2005, 03:47 PM
Thanks Amanda, now my only predicament is finding the time to read it outside of an actual Shakespeare class.