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1 Henry IV: A critical guide by Stephen Longstaffe

By Stephen Longstaffe

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45 While Bradley’s overall argument, made (like Morgann’s) through an analysis of key scenes, was that Shakespeare must have intended sympathy for Falstaff to weaken gradually, and largely in Part 2, he proposed that the dramatist, in fact, ‘overshot his mark’ in the Falstaff scenes. 47 Re-reading Falstaff in the Twentieth Century Towards the mid-twentieth century, scholars quickly and explicitly rejected the traditional character criticism stretching from Morgann to Bradley. John Dover Wilson famously urged for a return to the unsentimentalized characterization of Falstaff by Samuel Johnson.

25. 15. John Dryden, Of Dramatick Poesy, an Essay (1668) (London: Jacob Tonson, 1735), p. lxxvi. 16. Aphra Behn, ‘An Epistle to the Reader’ (1673), in More Seventeenth-Century Allusions to Shakespeare and his Works, ed. George Thorn-Drury (London: P. J. and A. E. Dobell, 1924), p. 10. THE CRITICAL BACKSTORY 31 17. Samuel Pepys, ‘Diary’ (1667), in William Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage, 1623–1692 (Volume 1), ed. Brian Vickers (London: Routledge, 1974), p. 31. For example, Paul Jorgensen, Redeeming Shakespeare’s Words (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1962).

Kastan, Shakespeare After Theory, p. 141. 119. Barbara Hodgdon, The End Crowns All: Closure and Contradiction in Shakespeare’s History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991), pp. 153, 158–59. 120. Kastan, Shakespeare After Theory, p. 131. 121. Richard Helgerson, Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), p. 227. 122. Helgerson, Forms of Nationhood, p. 227. 123. Christopher Highley, Shakespeare, Spenser, and the Crisis in Ireland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p.

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