Shakespeare and War: a reflection on instances of dramatic production, appropriation, and celebration


  • Catherine Alexander University of Birmingham
  • Catherine Alexander University of Birmingham



Shakespeare, war, theatre, Henry V


This article draws on a range of literary, theatre, and printed news sources in order to explore the portrayal of Shakespeare and some of his plays in relation to war. This exploration is timely, given the anniversary of the playwright’s birth and of the start of the First World War. Particular attention is given to the society of Elizabethan England, to nineteenth and twentieth century theatre and film productions of Henry V, and other events during the early years of the 1914-1918 war, revealing the many diverse ways in which the man and his work has been appropriated.


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Author Biography

Catherine Alexander, University of Birmingham

Until her retirement at the end of 2010, Catherine Alexander was a Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, where she was responsible for two postgraduate programmes: MA Shakespeare and Theatre and MA Shakespeare and Education. She is now an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute and continues to supervise doctaral students.


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Issue 2 Themed Section: Sidelights on Shakespeare