Act 2, Scene 21 – “The trappings of monarchy would seem enormous.”

Henryvi5easysteps-page-001Notes on Henry VI in Five Easy Steps

The latest installment of Shakespeare in Five Easy Steps helpfully boils the Wars of the Roses down to their simplest possible form. One of the things I like about doing these is the chance to get a larger number of characters into the mix than with a typical Zounds, and the Henry trilogy offers some fun opportunities.

With Henry, I wanted him to be small, so that all the trappings of monarchy would seem enormous. The crown he’s inherited from his two predecessors is too big for him, just as it was with Hal (I think Disney’s Robin Hood may have made a bigger impression on my childhood than I’d previously thought), but combined with the baggy cloak and his feet dangling in front of this tall throne, it feels like he’s being overwhelmed by the weight of his birthright.

Margaret of Anjou is in suitably warlike mood, and Edward IV is based on image research. There seem to have been an awful lot of portraits of him wearing that hat. He must have really liked it…

Apologies in advance to the Richard III society for going full-on bogeyman here.

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