Shakespeare Historical Plays Paper

676 words - 3 pages

During Shakespeare's career he wrote a number of historical plays along with his other tragedy and comedy plays. The historical plays primarily told the story of kings and the way they came to power and/or lost power. These types of plays were extremely well liked for they not only entertained the public but it also educated them about what happened in their nations past. His historical plays were not completely true though; some of them had a few things thrown in to make the play more entertaining. His three plays which are best known are Henry VI, parts one, two, and three, Richard III, and Henry IV parts one and two. Of those three plays the most influential one was Henry IV parts one and two.Henry VI was a three part play which in total covered Henry VI's life from when his father died to the time of his own death. This actual play was not his best however it was the first historical play that Shakespeare had written. After the death of Henrys father the first part of the play deals primarily with the wars in France along with fights involving Joan Of Arc. The second and third parts of the play dealt more primarily with Henry and who he was. He was depicted as a weak and unworthy king this was because he did not appear to be an effective war leader and/or governmental leader because the economy decreased during his rule and land was lost in wars.Shakespeare's second most important historical play was Richard III, this play more or less started up where the third part of Henry VI left off. This play was not as historical as the others that he made because it had taken true facts and then altered them to make them more entertaining. The basic core of what happen to Richard III is included within the play but everything else is just fictionalized information. Richard III begins at the death of Henry the VI, which the play later ends with Richards's death in the Battle of Bosworth Field. This is the same battle that ended the War of the Roses. This play was his first very successful historical play, it entertained both the view and actor.Henry IV parts one and two are considered Shakespeare's best historical works because he used a certain since of comedy in order to portray an important character. The comedy showed Shakespeare's skill with crafting words and blending different themes seamlessly. Henry IV is not about Henry IV as much so as it is about his son Prince Hal. The play primarily follows the life of Prince Hal from when he was a child to when he opposes his father, Henry IV, and then later becomes Henry V. During Prince Hal's youth he is primarily influenced by Knight Flastaff which Shakespeare depicts as a fat, comical yet helpful knight. This character was the comic relief for the somewhat serious play. Because of this addition of humor it is considered Shakespeare's most entertaining play.Of the various play both historical and non-historical written by Shakespeare some of his best works such as Henry IV happen to be historical. While his play Henry VI was not truly considered good it was very influential and probably affected the way Shakespeare wrote plays. If he had not written his historical plays perhaps modern literature may be different and the people of his time would have been less educated.

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