“My Reformation, Glittering O’er My Fault”: The Evolution Toward Shakespeare’s Ideal Prince

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Stephanie Erdman

Abstract

Modern interpretations of Shakespeare’s Lancastrian Tetralogy are shaded by modern morality and understanding of kingship or leadership. This article places the tetralogy within the historical context of Shakespeare’s audience and considers the analogies Shakespeare’s kings represent as deviations from their historical counterparts. Contrary to modern opinion, Henry V (Prince Hal) embodies the ideal morals and executions of the duties of kingship contemporary to the writing of the plays and seeks to present the author’s ideal concept of kingship.

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