Edward III – Act IV, Scene 3 – Brandeis woods

Shakespeare is ramping up in the play to deal with the famous incident at Calais withe the six richest merchants who will bow before the besieging King Edward and offer themselves up to whatever cruel torture or death the English have for them. The line which is spoken just before this scene, at the end of IV;ii “And better some do go to wrack then all” is a chilling reminder of what Edward intended to do to these poor sots. I have a hard time imagining how this makes the English more prideful. It seems extremely embarrassing to me that they would treat anyone (I know, it’s the French…) this way. But there’s a 20th/21st century mindset for you. In the late 1500’s I think we can all imagine things being a bit more raw. At the moment, I have no idea how it’s going to be resolved (sight reading this one, remember). All told, another GREAT little scene:

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