The Info List - The Famous Victories Of Henry V

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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 Henriad
(Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V). It was entered by printer Thomas Creede in the Stationers' Register in 1594, but the earliest known edition is from 1598.[1] A second quarto was published in 1617. The play covers the riotous youth of Prince Henry and his transformation into a warrior king, ending with his victory at Agincourt and his wooing of Princess Katherine. The work is of unknown authorship, and various possible authors have been proposed, including a young Shakespeare, though this view is not widely accepted by scholars.


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

French Soldiers:

Frenchman, 1 Soldier, 2 Soldier, 3 Soldier Jack Drummer French Captain

Plot summary[edit] 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
Battle of Agincourt
the English are victorious. Dericke is involved in clownish battlefield antics with a French soldier. After the battle he and John Cobler scheme to get out of the rest of the war by accompanying the deceased Duke of York's body back to England. Henry then travels on to Paris where he negotiates with the French court and woos Princess Katherine. The King of France agrees to make Henry his heir and to marry him to Katherine. Parallels with Shakespeare's plays[edit] The play covers the same ground later traversed in significantly greater detail in the Shakespearean trilogy, covering the wildness of the prince in several episodes, a coronation in which he dismisses the dissolute companions of his youth, and his invasion of France, victory at Agincourt, and eventual marriage to the Princess Katherine. More specifically, C.A. Greer[2] identified fifteen plot elements that occur in both the anonymous play and in the Henry trilogy. These included the robbery at Gad's Hill of the King's receivers, the meeting of the robbers in an Eastcheap Tavern, the reconciliation of the newly crowned King Henry V with the Chief Justice, the new King's rejection of his comic/criminal friends, the gift of tennis balls from the Dauphin, and Pistol's encounter with a French soldier (Dericke's in The Famous Victories). Date and authorship[edit]

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;[3] in 1910 H. Dugdale Sykes attributed it to Samuel Rowley.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] Alice-Lyle Scoufos argued that Welsh scrivener and theatrical producer Henry Evans, who was associated with the Earl, was the most likely author.[7] In 1944 E. M. W. Tillyard claimed the play for the young Shakespeare,[8] 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.[9] 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).[10] 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.[11] 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".[12] 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[edit]

^ 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.

External links[edit]

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

Richard II

Richard II Henry Bolingbroke Duke of York Earl of Northumberland Duke of Aumerle John of Gaunt Queen (unnamed composite of Anne of Bohemia
Anne of Bohemia
and Isabella of Valois) Henry 'Hotspur' Percy Duchess of York (unnamed composite of Infanta Isabella of Castile and Joan Holland) Duchess of Gloucester Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk Bishop of Carlisle Duke of Surrey Bushy Bagot Green Lord Ross Earl of Salisbury Lord Berkeley

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

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

On screen

Richard II

An Age of Kings
An Age of Kings
(1960; TV) The Life and Death of King Richard II (1960; TV) King Richard the Second (1978; TV) Richard the Second (2001) The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012; TV)

1 Henry IV

An Age of Kings
An Age of Kings
(1960; TV) Chimes at Midnight
Chimes at Midnight
(1966) The First Part of King Henry the Fourth, with the life and death of Henry surnamed Hotspur (1979; TV) The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1
Henry IV, Part 1
(2012; TV)

2 Henry IV

An Age of Kings
An Age of Kings
(1960; TV) Chimes at Midnight
Chimes at Midnight
(1966) The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift (1979; TV) The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2
Henry IV, Part 2

Henry V

Henry V (1944) An Age of Kings
An Age of Kings
(1960; TV) Chimes at Midnight
Chimes at Midnight
(1966) The Life of Henry the Fift (1979; TV) Henry V (1989) The Hollow Crown: Henry V (2012)


Holinshed's Chronicles The Famous Victories of Henry V
The Famous Victories of Henry V
(c.1585) Thomas of Woodstock/Richard the Second, Part One (c.1593)

Related plays

The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merry Wives of Windsor
(c.1597) Sir John Oldcastle
Sir John Oldcastle
(1599) Falstaff's Wedding
Falstaff's Wedding

Related music

(1913) At the Boar's Head
At the Boar's Head
(1925) Suite from Henry V (1963)

Historical context

Hundred Years' War Wars of the Roses Divine right of kings Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Es