Article Title

Metatheater, Gender, and Subjectivity in Richard II and Henry IV, Part 1


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

It has often been remarked that in Shakespeare's second Henriad Richard II is a play which presents a medieval world while Henry IV, Part I, presents a Renaissance, or "modern," world, and C. L. Barber has persuasively characterized this shift as a movement from a static, ceremonial view of human life to a dramatic and historical one.1 Perhaps the most important corollary of Barber's formulation is that men come to be seen as actors rather than as mere performers-men play roles rather than embody them. The differences in the characterization and presentation of men in these two plays are accordingly manifold and substantial.

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