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A Morose Henry V
TimHornPhD126 November 2013
Mark Rylance has become accepted as one of the great Shakespearean actors of our time. His approach is frequently cerebral. Of course you need to think when delving into a character, but in this case, the mind betrays the actor. A clear example is the St. Crispin's Speech. As I watched his performance at the Globe, I saw the intensity of his anxiety in leading his men to battle. No tighten of sinews, tigerizing themselves as they had at Harfleur was evident. I saw a tightening of the sphincter in the king with the realization they all could soon die. This could work expect for the lines that follow from his comrades who declare are clearly charged with a warrior's spirit moving them to win at Agincourt. Rylance is a great actor, but the internal approach does not serve him here. If there is time for misgivings they would best come when he infiltrates his men's camp the night before and questions them and himself about a sovereign's duty to his soldiers and subjects. I left the performance angry at his performance. He failed miserably as far as I am concerned. Let us hope he never repeats this performance.
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