An English king claiming the throne of France, an international provocation involving tennis balls, England at war with France, a gang of traitors, a very famous speech, victory in battle, quite a bit of comic relief (some of it involving a leek), and even some love interest: Henry V has it all. This course will give you an opportunity to engage in a close reading of this play, combined with a great deal of hands-on acting. We shall consider historical and cultural contexts as well as questions relating to the staging of the play, both in Shakespeare’s time and today. We shall also look at cinematic and other adaptations and works of art inspired by this play. As war is one of the main themes of Henry V, it has been particularly popular in times of war, particularly during Word War II.. We will see how our reading of this play will be affected by the fact that war in Europe has once more become a reality.
Please buy this edition and none other: William Shakespeare (ed.: T. W. Craik), King Henry V. The Arden Shakespeare, Third Series (Bloomsbury), ISBN 978-1-904271-08-06. You will need the text from the first week of the seminar, so buy your book as soon as possible and start reading. Do not waste your money on other editions without substantial annotations as these would be useless for the purposes of this course. Useful background knowledge on key cultural and literary contexts of Shakespeare’s time can be found here: Christoph Heyl, Kleine Englische Literaturgeschichte. J.B. Metzler. ISBN-13: 978-3476045096.
Requirements: Good preparation for each session, active participation, including quite a bit of sighing and shouting plus doing any amount of wild, exciting and outrageous things. You will get a chance to turn into a young king, a drunk, fat nobleman, a charming French princess with a very heavy French accent, a funny Welshman or an evil traitor. The seminar room will at times turn into a battlefield. Also written work according to your particular Studienordnung. There will be a Moodle room; you will receive your Moodle password via e-mail.
Just in case your application is rejected by the LSF system: If you want to do this course because you are genuinely interested, you will be most welcome, no matter what LSF says. Please get in touch with email@example.com who will enrol you manually. The worst that might happen to you is that you cannot do a Leistungsnachweis if you lack the formal requirements.