Tag Archives: Hotspur


“Tragical-Comical-Historical Hotspur”, written by Roberta Barker, analyses the constantly evolving role of Hotspur in Henry IV. She understands that the perception of Hotspur shifted in accordance with the theatrical “construction of Heroism” (P.289). Evaluating Hotspur’s representation in performances over time and his role as a Hero gives an insight into the cultural understanding of “masculine honor” (P.289) Hotspur can be seen as a flag barer for Heroism. He was a ‘virtuous’ character who showed unwavering military bravery, but the theatrical interpretation of his Heroism is dependent on its critical understanding at the time. Continue reading

Selective Amnesia in Shakespeare’s 1Henry IV

The characters from Shakespeare’s 1Henry IV are engaged in constant forgetting as it appears that forgetting is a tool, used by characters throughout the play to achieve their through actions. Literary critic Greenblatt discusses the play in terms of producing and containing subversion and disorder, and forgetting is to some scholars what drives the chaos. According to Jonni Koonce Dunn (Ph.D), forgetting is not just the absence of memory but also a coordinated erasure “conducive to re-imagination and re-inscription” (4). Continue reading

Give Me Life

Dressed in his plumed hat and fine clothes while he brandishes a shield on his left arm and a sword in his right hand, Falstaff is worthy of his title as Sir John Falstaff in the 18th century English painter Robert Smirke’s “Falstaff and the Dead Body of Hotspur”. Beneath his left foot lies the body of Hotspur while the Battle of Shrewsbury rages on in the background. Situated in the middle of the painting while his bright suite of clothes and flushed cheeks stand in contrast to both the dark background and Hotspur’s muted red and black clothes, there is no doubt that Falstaff is the hero of this painting. The glaring discrepancy between this image and the actual unheroic scene between Falstaff and Hotspur’s dead body in Shakespeare’s Henry the Fourth, Part I is no accident – it serves as a critique of Falstaff’s self-serving nature and indicates the tension between Falstaff and Hotspur’s attitudes on honor. Continue reading