The Famous Victories of Henry the fifth: Containing the Honourable
Battel of Agin-court: As it was plaide by the Queenes Maiesties
Players, is an anonymous Elizabethan play, which is generally thought
to be a source for Shakespeare's
1 Characters 2 Plot summary 3 Parallels with Shakespeare's plays 4 Date and authorship 5 References 6 External links
The English Court, Officials:
Prince Henry, later King Henry V King Henry IV Duke of York Earl of Oxford Earl of Exeter Archbishop of Canterbury Secretary to King Henry V Lord Mayor of London Lord Chief Justice Clerk of the Office Jailor Two Receivers Sheriff of London
English Citizens: Friends of Prince Henry
Ned Tom Jockey (Sir John Old-castle) Thief (Cuthbert Cutter)
Dericke, a tailor John Cobler Wife of John Cobler Robbin Pewterer Lawrence Costermonger A Vintner's Boy An English Soldier
The French Court, Officials, Military:
Charles, King of France Katharine, Princess of France Dolphin, French Prince (Dauphin) Archbishop of Burges Duke of Burgondie Lord High Constable of France Herald
Frenchman, 1 Soldier, 2 Soldier, 3 Soldier Jack Drummer French Captain
Prince Henry and his companions have committed a robbery, stealing
£1000 from two Royal Receivers. He meets Jocky Oldcastle and tells
him of events. The Receivers, pursuing the robbers, bump into Henry
who "forgives" them for losing the money, but also threatens them.
They leave. He suggests to the others that they go carousing to spend
the money in a tavern.
The Chief Justice hears about Henry's antics at the tavern, which
include a drunken street brawl with drawn swords. He orders the arrest
of the Prince and others. Local tradesmen comment on the events. One
of them recognises a Thief, who they take into custody. The Thief
insists that he is a servant of Prince Henry who will get him
released. Meanwhile, King Henry IV laments the shameful lifestyle of
his son. He questions the Chief Justice about the arrest of the
Prince. The Justice explains his actions and King Henry accepts their
validity. He calls for his son to be brought to him.
Prince Henry has been released. Angry at the Chief Justice, he tells
Jocky and his companions that when he is king they shall have major
positions of state. The Justice is arraigning the Thief when Prince
Henry and his gang arrive. The prince insists that the Thief be
released. When the Justice refuses, Prince Henry assaults him.
At his meeting with his father, Prince Henry is upbraided. His father
tells him of his royal duties. Shamed, the Prince promises to reform
his lifestyle. Meanwhile, the tradesmen act out a clownish version of
the conflict between the Prince and the Chief Justice.
King Henry IV is dying. The Prince picks up the crown thinking his
father is dead. King Henry revives and upbraids him again. The Prince
promises to be a good king. The old king dies. Now king, Henry V
reneges on his promises to his old companions and banishes them. Henry
discusses his claim to the French throne with the Archbishop. The
Dolphin of France sends tennis balls as a present to King Henry as an
insult. Henry prepares for war with France.
One of the tradesmen, John Cobler, has been fighting with his wife.
His friend Dericke intervenes. A soldier arrives to force the two men
to join the royal army. They are reluctantly recruited while the wife
laments. The Thief is also pressed into military service.
In France Henry captures the town of Harfleur. The French send a large
army against him. Henry defies them, insisting that he will not be
ransomed but would rather die than accept defeat. Before the battle,
French soldiers (speaking in comically garbled English) discuss how
they will divide the spoils. At the
Battle of Agincourt
Richard Tarleton, the actor who played Dericke, and one possible author of the play
In 1891 F. G. Fleay attributed the play to comedian Richard Tarleton, who is known to have played the role of Dericke; in 1910 H. Dugdale Sykes attributed it to Samuel Rowley. In 1928 B. M. Ward suggested the extant version was based on an early court masque written by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Scot McCrea thinks this unlikely, but argues that the author was probably trying to flatter Oxford, as the role of his ancestor Richard de Vere, 11th Earl of Oxford is exaggerated in the text. Alice-Lyle Scoufos argued that Welsh scrivener and theatrical producer Henry Evans, who was associated with the Earl, was the most likely author. In 1944 E. M. W. Tillyard claimed the play for the young Shakespeare, followed by Seymour Pitcher in 1961. Pitcher argued that annotations to Edward Halle's Chronicles were probably written by Shakespeare and that these are very close to passages in the play. This view has not received much support, but because of the play's "manifest verbal flatness", it has been widely argued that the published version of the play is a memorial reconstruction (based on memory rather than a manuscript). Just as the authorship of Famous Victories is disputed, so too is its chronological placement in the development of the English drama. However, as published in 1598 the play is advertised as one acted by "her Queen's Majesty's Players", referring to Queen Elizabeth's Men, a company which, while surviving into the 1590s was in deep decline by 1590. It is generally agreed that Richard Tarlton, who died in 1588, played the clown role (Dericke) in the play and that William Knell, who died in 1587, played Henry. This is because of a record of a performance in which "Knel, then playing Henry the fift, hit Tarlton a sound boxe indeed, which made the people laugh the more". Scoufus, as mentioned, places it in around 1583; Ward argued for a date circa 1576. It is certain, however, that the play significantly antedates the canonical Shakespearean treatment of the same historical materials in Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V by some years. References
^ Campbell, Oscar James (ed), "Famous Victories" A Shakespeare Encyclopaedia, Taylor and Francis, 1966, p.221. ^ Greer, Clayton A. "Shakespeare's Use of The Famous Victories of Henry V," Notes & Queries. n. s. 1 (June, 1954): 238-41. ^ Fleay, F. G. A. Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama. London, 1891, p. 67. ^ Sykes, H. Dugdale. "The Authorship of The Taming of a Shrew, The Famous Victories of Henry V, and the Additions to Marlowe's Faustus." Shakespeare Association Paper, 28 February 1919. London, 1919, pp. 34-37. ^ Ward, B. M. "The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth: Its Place in Elizabethan Dramatic Literature." Review of English Studies IV (July, 1928): 270-94, pp. 287, 294. ^ McCrea, Scott, The Case For Shakespeare: The End Of The Authorship Question, Greenwood, 2005, p.157-8. ^ Scoufos, Alice-Lyle, Shakespeare's Typological Satire: A Study of the Falstaff-Oldcastle Problem, Ohio University Press, 1981, pp.176, 180. ^ Tillyard, E. M. W Shakespeare's History Plays. New York, 1944, p. 174. ^ Pitcher, Seymour M. The Case for Shakespeare's Authorship of "The Famous Victories". New York, 1961, p. 6. ^ Peter Corbin, Douglas Sedge, The Oldcastle Controversy: Sir John Oldcastle, Part I and The Famous Victories of Henry V, Manchester University Press ND, 1991, p.34. ^ Katherine Duncan-Jones, Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes from his Life, Cengage, 2001. pp.29-30. ^ Edwin Nungezer, A Dictionary of Actors and of Other Persons Associated with the Public Representation of Plays in England before 1642, Yale University Press, 1929, p.228.
Full text at Elizabethan Authors.
v t e
William Shakespeare's Henriad
Richard II Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Characters and events
Duke of York
Earl of Northumberland
Duke of Aumerle
John of Gaunt
Queen (unnamed composite of
Anne of Bohemia
1 Henry IV
Henry IV Prince Hal Henry 'Hotspur' Percy Sir John Falstaff Ned Poins Mistress Quickly Bardolph Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester Earl of Douglas Sir Walter Blunt Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland Lady Percy Earl of Westmorland Owen Glendower Edmund Mortimer Lady Mortimer Archbishop of York John, Duke of Bedford Battle of Humbleton Hill Battle of Shrewsbury
2 Henry IV
Henry IV Prince Hal Sir John Falstaff Ned Poins Ancient Pistol Bardolph Mistress Quickly Doll Tearsheet Robert Shallow Earl of Westmorland Archbishop of York John, Duke of Bedford Earl of Warwick Lord Chief Justice Lord Bardolf Earl of Northumberland Lord Mowbray Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester Thomas, Duke of Clarence Earl of Surrey Rumour
Henry V King of France Louis the Dauphin Fluellen Ancient Pistol Mistress Quickly Bardolph Corporal Nym Katharine Constable of France Chorus Duke of Exeter John, Duke of Bedford Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester Thomas, Duke of Clarence Earl of Westmorland Duke of Orléans Duke of Burgundy Duke of York Earl of Salisbury Earl of Warwick Duke of Bourbon Archbishop of Canterbury Bishop of Ely Queen Isabel Earl of Cambridge Lord Scroop Sir Thomas Grey Michael Williams Sir Thomas Erpingham Duke of Berry Battle of Agincourt
1 Henry IV
An Age of Kings
2 Henry IV
An Age of Kings
The Famous Victories of Henry V
Hundred Years' War Wars of the Roses Divine right of kings Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Es