One of the ways we fund the podcast is through affiliate links. If you purchase these items through our links, we make a commission. This, and all the posts here on our website, may contain such affiliate links. Welcome to Episode #120 of That Shakespeare Life, the podcast that takes you behind the curtain and into the life of William Shakespeare. One of the most romantic moments from Shakespeare’s plays is when he writes Henry V stumbling his way through a French declaration of love and wedding proposal to Catherine of Valois in Shakespeare’s Henry V. It is gorgeous scene and one of my favorites, but it presents a few questions since England was strongly pro-England at this point in history, even leaning anti-French (having taken measures like banning the import of French playing cards at this time for example) so what was Shakespeare doing when he had one of England’s biggest heroes speaking French on stage? Where did Shakespeare learn French in the first place–and does he get the language right? Here to help us explore the use of French in Shakespeare’s plays, how the language fit into the life of William Shakespeare, as well as the French language history behind not only Henry V, but also the French that shows up in Hamlet as well, is our guest, Jennifer Nicholson. Join the conversation below. Subscribe Itunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | GooglePlay | iHeartRadio Jennifer E. Nicholson is a sessional academic in literary and interdisciplinary studies at the University of Sydney, teaching film, genre, and early modern literature. She researches from the early modern period into the twenty-first century, with a focus on the various “edges” of the English language in a range of literary forms. Her projects currently span Shakespeare studies (particularly Hamlet), Montaigne, early modern drama, Renaissance books, world literature, untranslatability, and comparative translation. Primarily an early modernist, Jennifer’s primary area of interest is currently the presence of French and French English in early modern English play texts. She is currently working on a longer project concerning English language versions of film produced by Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli. Jennifer has work forthcoming and recently published in edited collections spanning from early modern drama to Anglophone translations of Japanese film. She tweets about her work, her cat, and other general interests at @justjenerally In this episode, I’ll be asking Jennifer Nicholson about : Today, English is the international trade language that is often taught in multiple schools around the world as part of a necessary education. But for the 16th century, Jennifer, what was the reigning international trade language? Was it French? Was there a huge market in 16th century England for French texts? Henry V is the obvious choice when examining Shakespeare’s understanding of French since this play (while not the only one to feature French language) does contain entire scenes conducted in French. Students of French will notice that many of the French phrases in that play, however, are considered incorrect by today’s standards. Jennifer, are the phrases in Shakespeare’s Henry V considered incorrect by 16th century standards? … and more! Books and Resources Jennifer Nicholson Recommends: Bourus, Terri. “Enter Shakespeare’s Young Hamlet, 1589.” Actes des Congrès de la Société française Shakespeare 34 (2016): 1-14, doi: 10.4000/Shakespeare.3736. Hamlin, William M. Montaigne’s English Journey: Reading the Essays in Shakespeare’s Day. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684113.001.0001. Déprats, Jean-Michel. ““I Cannot Speak Your England”: Sur Quelques Problmèmes de Traduction d’Henry V.” Actes des Congrès de la Société française Shakespeare 18 (2000): 69-83. Doi: 10.4000/shakespeare.545. Rubright, Marjorie. “Incorporating Kate: The Myth of Monolingualism in Shakespeare’s Henry the Fifth.” In The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, and Race, edited by Valerie Traub, 468-490. Oxford New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016. Comment and Share Please consider rating the podcast with 5 stars and leaving a one- or two-sentence review in iTunes or on Stitcher. Rating the podcast helps tremendously with bringing the podcast to the attention of others. You can tell your friends on Twitter about your love of Shakespeare and our new podcast by simply clicking this link and sharing the tweet you’ll find at the other end. And, by all means, if you know someone you think would love to learn about the life of William Shakespeare, please spread the word by using the share buttons on this page. And remember: In order to really know William Shakespeare, you have to go behind the curtain, and into That Shakespeare Life.
Hello! This a preview of what\'s inside this patrons-only post. Shakespeare's Henry V stumbles his way through a French marriage proposal but does he get it right? Explore Shakespeare's French with Jennifer Nicholson.