Tag Archives: Holinshed
Lady Grey

Shakespeare’s sources – Henry VI part 3

Having looked at Henry VI parts one and two in my last two blogs it is time now to consider part three. As with the previous two parts Shakespeare’s primary sources for part three were Edward Hall’s The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (1548) and Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1587). Holinshed […]

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Henry VI of England

Shakespeare’s sources – Henry VI part 1

Henry VI is Shakespeare’s longest play in that it runs to 3 parts. As with nearly all of Shakespeare’s History plays he relies heavily on Holinshed’s Chronicles sometimes borrowing descriptions almost directly from his source text. But always adding his own unique touches, the study of which makes looking at his use of source texts […]

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Henry claims the throne - 1399

Shakespeare’s Sources – Henry IV – part one

Like most of Shakespeare’s plays, Henry IV has a number of different sources including  Holinshed’s Chronicles, Samuel Daniels’ The civil war between the houses of York and Lancaster and Machiavelli’s The Prince. But in this blog I am going to take a quick look at the idea of crusade and penance. At the very beginning […]

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King Richard II

Shakespeare’s sources – Richard II

In my ongoing series of blogs about Shakespeare’s sources I am today looking at Richard II. Like many of Shakespeare’s history plays the facts that Shakespeare dramatizes can be found in Holinshed’s chronicles and also the Chronicles of Froissart whose lengthy accounts, published around 1400 are still considered useful historical sources today. Unlike with some of […]

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Henry V

Shakespeare’s sources – Henry V

Next in my series on Shakespeare’s sources is Henry V early in the tale of king Henry Shakespeare gives his audience a chance to see the king deal out his justice as he deals with three potential assassins; the Earl of Cambridge, Lord Scrope and sir Thomas Grey. As with many of Shakespeare’s history plays […]

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King John - but did he kill Arthur?

Shakespeare’s Sources – King John

Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources I turn my attention to King John and the mystery of the death of Prince Arthur. In Shakespeare’s play Arthur’s death is not mysterious at all. In what can be staged as a very dramatic moment the boy throws himself from the battlements with the final cry of ”Heaven […]

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Holinshed's Cordelia

Shakespeare’s sources – King Lear

Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources I am continuing with King Lear. King Lear has at least 4 sources Holinshed Chronicles – The true history of King Lear and his three daughters… which seems to suggest the main structure of the story but also Edmund Spenser’s The Fairie Queene, Sir Philip Sidney’s The Arcadia and […]

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Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches in Holinshed

Shakespeare’s sources – Macbeth

I would like to begin a new series of blogs looking at Shakespeare’s sources.  Many people will tell you that Shakespeare was not a very original writer and indeed it is true that most of his plays have some kind of antecedent. It is rare to find a play that appears to have sprung into […]

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