Archive for Peter Matthiessen

Scheduling Update

Posted in Henry IV Part 1, Syllabi with tags , on 2014/04/05 by mattermind

Something Orson Welles said about Falstaff (see yesterday’s blog post) slapped me in the face and caused me to completely revise my schedule for the month of April.

Late in the clip, while discussing the bloody battle scene, he remarks that this moment divides the middle ages and the modern (or something to that effect). Neither war nor human psychology would ever be the same.

His thoughts deserve revisiting, and this cycle of plays cries out for in-depth study and analysis. I’ve reached one of those places on my Eurail tour when I must put down roots or risk turning the entire journey into a farce.

You can’t rush ancient Rome or Prague or Vienna or Budapest. I haven’t embarked on studying Shakespeare merely to rubberstamp my passport with a few colorful entry visas.

I have vowed that when I encounter a mountain I shall climb it. Here is such an Everest and Kilimanjaro. The extra effort required to ascend its peak will be worth it. [Peter Matthiessen died today. R.I.P., dear remarkable soul.]

Therefore I have shoved Henry VI until later, bookending it with Henry VIII. Thematically this actually makes sense because it juxtaposes one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays with one of his last. I look forward to a side-by-side comparison.

April now transforms into the “Henriad” or my own personal Hollow Crown adventure. In keeping with that spirit, I have ordered the complete DVD series.

Yup. I’m excited. I love when my assumptions are challenged, my thinking expanded by new doorways that demand venturing through.

April has taken on a whole new meaning.