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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

All The World’s A Stage: Representing Theatricality in the Henriad

This paper interrogates theatrical power and authority in the Henriad. It draws its legitimacy from real-life power of performance; specifically, Elizabeth I's seeking of public opinion and contriving elaborate processions to do so. Also, the Essex Rising lends weight to theatrical power having a place in the real world. The paper discusses the three main protaganists of the tetralogy: Richard, Bolingbroke, and Hal. Each one uses a theatrical institution--that is to say, one whose power derives from an audience of some sort--as a claim to power. Richard does so religiously, Bolingbroke politically, and Hal theatrically. Ultimately, however, each man's institution of power subverts himself because their power is fleeting--theatrical power lies in the belief of the audience.

Presenter: Ryan Stimson (Graduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 9:30 am (Session I)