Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

Shakespeare’s Forgotten Plays: The English Histories

DramaHistoryRenaissanceShakespeareThe Middle Ages
Precepted by Liam Daley.
This module examines two English history plays frequently overlooked in Shakespeare studies: King Henry VI, Part 1 and King John. The rollicking wartime melodrama, King Henry VI, Part 1, shows Joan of Arc from the English perspective as a foul-mouthed, lascivious witch. The virtuous milksop King Henry VI is all but overshadowed in his own play as Joan bedevils the English forces in France again and again—until her own downfall and death. Shakespeare’s most satirically comical history, King John, by contrast, shows a monarch neither competent nor virtuous! Between John’s corrupt and cowardly bungling of a war France, a war with the Pope, and rebellion at home, England’s only hope is the play’s unlikely (and ahistorical) hero—the wily and charming bastard son of the late King Richard the Lionheart. Unlike most of Shakespeare’s English histories, both of these plays are comfortably stand-alone; no prior knowledge of Shakespeare’s other history plays required.

Required Texts

Shakespeare’s King John and King Henry VI, Part 1 (any editions)

Iterations

None (yet!)

If you're interested in this course...

If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].