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Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy: Richard II - Henry V

John Lucas




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The plays that make up what is commonly called the Second Tetralogy (Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V) occupied Shakespeare during the latter half of the 1590s, a time of great national importance, when Elizabeth's reign was coming to an end and an uncertain future awaited her subjects. Questions of kingship inevitably therefore arise in the course of these plays: if monarchs are divinely appointed, does it follow that people must suffer under them no matter what they do or how unequal they may be to the task of governance, and what happens if they are overthrown? Does rebellion breed further rebellion? Who is fit to assume and exercise power and authority? Must private relationships give way to public considerations? Above all, perhaps, who speaks for England? In the manner in which he presents these and other questions, Shakespeare emerges in these plays as indisputably the national poet.


About the author:

John Lucas is Professor Emeritus of English at the Universities of Loughborough and Nottingham Trent. His critical and scholarly books include studies of Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Arnold Bennett. A translator of Egil's Saga he is also a well-known poet, whose most recent work is A World Perhaps: New and Selected Poems (2002). Since 1994 he has been the publisher of Shoestring Press.


160  pages

ISBN: 978-1-871551-97-6

Greenwich Exchange Category: Student Guides

Series: Student Guide



Other books by John Lucas published by Greenwich Exchange:

Portable Property

George Crabbe: A Critical Study

Robert Browning

Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale

The Plotting

Summer Nineteen Forty-Five


The Good That We Do

Second World War Poetry in English