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“Hercules must yield to odds” (53), has been transferred to the Messenger's speech from Warwick's own words at his death (v. ii. 33), in Q. And the “mole-hill” line in the same speech (Q, II. i. 33) may be regarded as transplanted to II. v. 14 in the final play. For “Piteous spectacle," a phrase of Spenser's,
a which occurs in the Messenger's speech (Q, 11. i. 43), “saddest spectacle" appears in the final play (II. v. 73). Line 71 (“The flower of Europe') is found in The First Contention but was omitted in 2 Henry VI. There are echoes of Marlowe ("racking clouds," 27), and of Peele (" latest gasp," 108,"soul's prison,” 74). All in both texts. Richard's character shows further development in both plays (79-88). Warwick, always all Shakespeare's, is scarcely altered. Versification and harmony are conscientiously looked after. In the matter of numbering the troops before Towton (177-181), Q is nearer the truth. At 128-132 the passage of the “ lazy thresher” and
" the night owl's fight," is worthy of Shakespeare at any time.
Several times what Peele uses he really takes from Marlowe, as his "soul's prison" above.
Act II. Scene ii. Practically identical in the two plays, but numerous verbal changes of the slightest nature give polish. Note alterations to relieve an over-used word, as “lord" to “ liege” (9, 33). One of many so-called proofs of Greene's work is explained away (47, 48, note), like the “well I wot” at line 134. Another very stale word, "princely” (58), is expelled. Grammar is often corrected (1. 70) but by no means always. Several “continuity passages ” occur in this scene. And constant evidence is given in the notes of Shakespeare's hand. Line 97 is found in Greene's Alphonsus. It is not in Q. The transition verb "refrain" (110) recalls Peele. For the unmetrical confusion of Q, see an instance at 109-11 2. A word of Peele's, also from Marlowe, is " base-born" (143) in an altered line. It is also in Part II. (1. iii. 82) but in neither case in the Quartos. “Stigmatic” (136) also reappears from Part II., where it is found in the old plays each time and seems to be Shakespeare's own. One change, “encompass'd” (3) from “impaled,” shows the careful handling. It occurs later in both plays at III. iii. 189, and in this play at III. ii. 171. That is to say twice apiece, not too often. Scansion is set
right by inserting a few words, " Ah, what a shame were this " (39), which would appear to have fallen out of Q.
Act II. Scene iii. A short scene not much lengthened, but considerable transposition and alteration occurs. “ Malignant star” is omitted; it has been used in i Henry VI. “Fainting troops ” (Marlowe) is omitted, and is paralleled by the omission of "fainting looks” (or rather conversion) in last scene (138). “ Thickest throngs ” (Marlowe and Kyd's Cornelia) is omitted, and each expression has carried away a line with it. At the beginning "spite of spite” replaces Shakespeare's older “force perforce" (or Kyd's). But these three lines (4, 5, 6) are repeated in Q (at v. ii. 24-27) where “spite of spites” is found. Note the parallel “clamor” (v. ii. 44) to “clangor" here (18). An interesting omission is “to remunerate," which becomes “rewards” (52). It is often used by Peele, but never by Shakespeare in a sure place. And he seems to have disliked it, judging from Love's Labour's Lost, although it was the Chronicle word (Hall) on this occasion. There are one or two very poor lines not found in Q, as that which replaces 47, but "dire mishaps ” is in Comedy of Errors ; and “highly promise to remunerate” (52) is paralleled by "highly hold in hate” in Two Gentlemen of Verona. Evidence of Shakespeare runs throughout. Nevertheless Peele had a hand here in the early play I believe.
See Peele parallels (at 23, 47, 55, 191). Act 11. Scene iv. In Q this bloody little scene has a few Marlowesque lines, which were deservedly expelled : they might have been anyone's ; but they are a bad imitation of Marlowe (see notes). We have had many Golding parallels. Marlowe's "slicing sword” is from Golding. It is very interesting to meet here two lines (12-13) from 2 Henry VI. v. ii. 13. They are in First Contention, but not in present Q. The "thirsty sword" here (Q) is in Peele's Edward I.
Act II. Scene v. This scene is doubled in length. There is little omission of what Q contains, but several trivial lines are altered out of shape. Henry's great soliloquy of fifty-four lines is merely opened in Q's twelve lines. It is a device to give the feeling of time elapsing while the battle rages, which the soldier (father and son) episodes serve to make more real. It is also a foil speech of Henry against Richard's soliloquy later on (III. ii.). Needless to say it is entirely by Shakespeare.
It is noticeable that the “mastless ship” line (omitted by Shakespeare) is borrowed into Kyd's Soliman and Perseda, several lines of which echo this play. We have Spenser's “piteous spectacle” here (73) altered to "saddest spectacle " before (11. i. 67). Some of the changes are very quaint, as
son so rude,” to “son so rued ” (109). Several lines of Q are shifted about confusingly in the final play, like “lions and poor lambs" (74-75). See also the transposition of "too soon, too late” (92, 93), recalling a note from Lucrece which happens very often in Henry VI. The father's speech is entirely new (excepting last line 122) and contains a thought from Marlowe's Jew of Malta. But I see nothing of the “ base-minded three” in either version here.
Act II. Scene vi. Very lightly altered and hardly extended. Some of Peele's expressions appear, as "effuse of blood ” (28), “unstanched thirst” (83), and the “people swarm (at 8), occurring also below IV. ii. 2 (see note at 8). And see at “buzz” (95). A group of adjectives ending in -less appears (23-25). Repetitions are effaced, as at “I know hee's dead (79). Another quaint misprint (?) occurs in Q, "busie to offend” (95).
Lopped " is used in its proper connection (47), not as at II. iv. 5 in Q. Golding's Ovid is several times recalled. The constant identity of Warwick's speeches in the two texts is very noticeable, even to such poetic expressions as at 62, a line readapted for Richard III., as frequently happens. The closing word “possession" is similarly pronounced in King John. At II. vi. 33 the words in Q,“ That now towards Barwicke doth poste amaine,” are omitted; they have been used in scene v. 128 in the final play.
Act III. Scene i. Some natural touches are happily added to the deer-stalking scene. The alteration of "bow and arrow" to “cross-bow” is instructive. The introduction of Shakespeare's favourite words of " balm” and “anointed king" (17) is also characteristic. Line 21 is changed for the worse. This is a poor scene in Q, relieved only by the deer shooting, and the faint attempt to arouse sympathy for Henry. The additional matter (70-96) with the “anointed king" again (76) is on the same mediocre level. That addition, with the developed shooting business, doubled the length. Again Lucrece is recalled more than once. The deer shooting is illustrated by
Love's Labour's Lost, iv. i. and iv. ii. Margaret's troubles are rehearsed in a pathetic way by her wronged and wretched husband. Shakespeare is thinking of her in Richard III. in a passive manner. Henry's simile of the feather (85) is additional, and a redeeming passage. History knows no such Margaret of Anjou as Shakespeare draws, but he took his hint from the Chroniclers and formed her on the "models of antique tragedy."
Act III. Scene ii. An important scene, containing the wellsustained dialogue between Edward and Lady Grey, and also Gloucester's great soliloquy. We have had an example of dialogue in alternate lines already in i Henry VI. (IV. v. 3542). The scene is lengthened by about sixty lines in the rewriting, mainly in Gloucester's speech, to which forty lines are additional. The alteration of Catiline to Machiavel, at its close, is noticeable, and used by the advocates of Marlowe's authorship. There is not a line of the least consequence in True Tragedy (Q) that is omitted in 3 Henry VI. in this
Some interesting points occur: the old "godsforbot” (25) is deleted. Note The Spanish Tragedy passage at 3335, and the standard phrase of “ in Christendom” (83). Also the manipulation of the following line (84), which is repeated later on (IV. vi. 71) and caused a little trouble. “Ghostly father” (107) recalls Peele. So does “ lade" (139). Several of the old expressions, “basilisk” (187), “play the orator” (188), “impaled with crown”(171), do duty again. Gloucester's proverb lore begins to display itself (50).
Act III. Scene iii. This interesting scene is an adroit amalgamation of two totally distinct events. See note at 234-242. Two different “assemblies " before the French king, in both of which Margaret was chiefly concerned, are welded into one. See notes at line i and at line 234. The structure is the same in both plays. The development and improvement are continuous on the old lines. The scene is lengthened by a full hundred lines, chiefly to Margaret's credit. She has sixteen in 2, seventy-two in the final play-from a nonentity she has become a striking central figure. Warwick is almost unaltered. He gets about five lines added to his seventy-five (192-194, 208-210), and two or three slightly rewritten. The word “thrust" (190) is expelled (see note), from a harsh usage.
At the beginning those very poor lines are dropped, containing a premature promise of the French king's, and containing also “ repossess," so frequently used in this play but not elsewhere. The addition to Warwick's speech (209) is also important to the future history, foretelling Clarence's falseness. A suggestion in defence of the untrue statement (81-82) of John of Gaunt's having "subdued the greater part of Spain ” is made. There is nothing in this scene suggestive of any other hand. Shakespeare came to it with improved experience, correcting the faults, amending corrupted verse, and above all designedly devoting attention to 'Margaret. Although the scene has a narrative interest and considerable dramatic life, there is little to be said of its poetic composition. Lewis's remarks at the end as well as at the beginning, are furbished up a bit. But it is all very unworthy of Shakespeare, more so than any previous scene.
Act iv. Scene i. A needful but very dull scene, with faulty recapitulations from the last. Edward's unlucky marriage and Clarence's fickleness grow prominent. The lines are sensibly rewritten and fulfil their purpose, devoid of mannerism, harshness, or any particular weakness. In the Quarto the rhythm is destroyed by simple carelessness of printing sometimes (36-38), or by actual misprinting of words perhaps (20-23), or by such corruption in the text (at 146) that the lines are omitted as hopeless. Another omitted phrase, “stragling troopes" (131), recalls Greene, but it was quasi-technical of soldier adventurers as in Richard III. v. iii. 327. At 73 Gloucester's personal characteristic is noted on. Edward's queen is accorded more respect and attention here than in Q.
Act Iv. Scene ii. This short scene closes with Warwick's speech to enable the Watchmen's scene (iii.) to be interjected, which has no place in Q. In order to close scene ii. Warwick's speech is added to and rounded off with the classical illustrations, not in Q, but quite in keeping according to the vogue. The Watchmen's scene has a special interest (see below). Note “The common people swarm (2), as above (II. vi. 8). The addition made to Warwick's speech may be due to Peele. Sometimes Holinshed's example might have suggested the classical interpolations.
Act iv. Scene iii. The Watchmen episode, suggested per