Title first published in 2003. The author of this study explores how Shakespeare creates historical characters who engineer their supremacy, shore up their popular support, and/or sustain their charisma through manipulation of festive elements, which are found throughout the tetralogy and rooted in the English cultural psyche.
'David Ruiter's engaging and sympathetic new interpretation of the second Henriad suggests that the subject can always be dug into with a fresh appetite… the book more than justified its aim to reopen a discussion of festivity and provide new routes through what seemed familiar territory.' Sixteenth Century Journal
Contents: Shakespeare's festive history: an introduction; 'Awhile to work, and after holiday': Richard II and the roots of a festive history; 'What, is it time to jest and dally now?': Hal's creation of the feast of Falstaff in 1 Henry IV; 'The unquiet time' of 2 Henry IV: Festivity and order in Flux; 'The turning o' the tide': the Lent of Agincourt and the return of the feast in Henry V; Epilogue; Bibliography; Index.
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