The play makes no scruple that the marriage is a term forced upon France as part of a surrender, in order to bring about a dynastic consolidation. Nonetheless, I have never before seen the courtship scenes at the end of Act V presented other than as romantic comedy. Not here. Here Katherine visibly regards Henry with visceral distaste, is struggling not to be kissed by him, and the whole thing comes across as the prelude to a rape. (All without changing a line that I could determine.) Henry would be blind not to see how she feels about him, and his proceeding with a sunny demeanor and lines about his love for her, as he does, can only result from a profound lack of interest in her feelings. By now we recognize him as willing to do almost anything in pursuit of his own and his country’s interests, and not a nice guy.
Archive for March 2017
We have enshrined these activities in programs that we shield from political interference, or establishing implementing regulations through a notice-and-comment process that makes them hard to undo. We set our courts to guard these activities through various enforcement mechanisms. And we empower government attorneys and regulators with various degrees of autonomy to prevent interference, including presidential interference, with their actions. To be sure, nothing can be set in immovable stone. Even the Constitution may be amended. But he administrative state is not supposed to be easily movable. It is, after all, our civilization we are protecting.