On 14 May 1610, King Henry IV of France was assassinated.
|Assassination of Henri IV and the arrest of Ravaillac, by Charles-Gustave Housez|
|King Henry IV, a recent model reconstruction|
He was baptised as a Catholic, became a Protestant and then later returned to being a Catholic.
In all of England, there was a general state of terror.
All of this had tragically derived from King Henry VIII’s tumultuous break from the Catholic Church in the 1530's.
There was not much more that Shakespeare could do.
What plays would he have chosen for the days immediately after the assassination?
Probably some lighter and funnier plays from the past -- like Twelfth Night or Comedy of Errors.
Shakespeare, the master sorcerer of the stage, would have wanted to conjure laughter and dispel their fears.
David B. Schajer
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