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『ヘンリー四世』とオールドカスル/フォールスタフ論争

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概要 This paper attempts to demonstrate how deeply Shakespeare's Henry IV plays(first performed during 1596-98) were involved in the religio-political struggle of the final decade of the sixteenth-century ...in England. The consensus is that Shakespeare's famous fat knight, Sir John Falstaff, was originally named ""Oldcastle. " Shakespeare later altered the original name to "'Falstaff" because his "misrepresentation" of Oldcastle offended the Puritans and other pious Protestants who revered Oldcastle as an early English Protestant martyr. To them, Shakespeare's burlesque represenhtion of him as a "pampered glutton" and "aged counsellor to youtful sins" was nothing but a slander against this highly esteemed Protestant martyr. Hence, a number of Puritan writings attempted to restore Oldcastle's good name, which the Puritans thought the Iienry N plays had sullied, soon after their first performance. As scholars have pointed out, Oldcastle/Falstaff has many traits that would have reminded the Elizabethan audience of the Puritan stereotype. Oldcastle/Falstaff cites mockingly from the non-conformist Geneva Bible rather than the Bishops' Bible, His lengthy speeches echo the Scriptural style of the sanctimonious Puritan, His use of such phrases as "corrupt a saint, " '"tis my vocation, " "Watch tonight, pray tomorrow," and ""light within" smacks of the sixteenth-century Puritans. He also alludes to the psalm--singing of the Puritans when he wishes he were a weaver so that the could "sing psalms." Thus, it is quite likely that Shakespeare intended Sir John to be a satirist ridiculing Elizabethan Puritans as well as a ""misrepresentation" of a proto-protestant martyr. In the 1590s the government of Elizabeth I was suppressing Puritan activity more vigorously than ever and, at the same time, producing active anti-Puritan propaganda. In such a historical context, Shakespeare's Oldcastle/Falstaff plays would have functioned as another piece of anti-Puritan propaganda, serving the interests of an Elizabethan government determined to crush extreme Puritan activity. The plays also served the interests of the militant Catholics, as illustrated by the fact that the Jesuit Robert Parsons availed himself of Shakespeare's Oldcastle/Falstaff plays when he "railed" against Oldcastle by labelling him as a "ruffian-knight brought by comedians on the stages."続きを見る

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登録日 2009.04.22
更新日 2017.02.08

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