"Those Proud Titles Thou Hast Won": Sovereignty, Power, and Combat in Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy


Jennifer Low


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

Shakespeare depicts political tensions in the second tetralogy more through challenges and individual combats than through the group violence so prominent in the first tetralogy. In his cyclic portrayal of Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V, the challenge to the combat represents a critical juncture for each monarch's realization of his power.1 In the two plays that I shall examine here, Richard II and I Henry IV, the combat is proposed no less than four times: by Bolingbroke to Mowbray; by York's son Aumerle to his political enemies; by Hal to Hotspur during the parley; and by Hal again when he meets Hotspur on the battlefield.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.