Crossing Boundaries in Henry V
: Multilingualism, Cross-culturalism and Nation in History, Edition, Translation and Performance

Student thesis: Doc typesDocteur en Langues, lettres et traductologie


Henry V is both Shakespeare’s most multilingual play, containing a substantial number of utterances written in French, and a play which is deemed particularly Gallophobic. Testimony to England’s cosmopolitan and polyglot nature in the sixteenth century and to its complicated relationship with France, Henry V thus seems to stand as a paradox. But what did historical audiences actually understand of French material? What views did they hold of the French, and are those reflected in the play? How were multilingual scenes handled in later textual editions, or when the play crossed the Channel and reached France? How did French translators deal with perceived xenophobic stereotypes? Finally, how have modern directors and audiences dealt with historical multilingualism, and how has perceived xenophobia been staged on English and French stages?
This study sets out to address these questions by offering an overview of the reception of multilingualism and cross-cultural encounters in Henry V, through time, space, and media, focusing particularly on the issue of how multilingualism and its reception in Shakespeare’s play are influenced by beliefs about France and the French language, and by evolving relationships between England and France over time. In its five chapters, this thesis first offers a historical overview of the origins of multilingualism in Henry V and its pattern of reception in early modern England. It then analyses the reception of multilingualism and national images through a series of case studies of later critical editions, French translations, and performances on both sides of the Channel, from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.
la date de réponse23 avr. 2024
langue originaleAnglais
L'institution diplômante
  • Universite de Namur
SuperviseurDirk Delabastita (Promoteur), Guido Latré (Copromoteur), Christophe Flament (Président), Ton Hoenselaars (Jury), Mylène Lacroix (Jury) & Paul Prescott (Jury)

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