Voici The Hollow Crown, une série historique produite par Sam Mendes pour BBC 2. Elle adapte les quatre pièces de la seconde tetralogie historique de William Shakespeare, « the Henriad » : Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 et 2, et Henry V.
King Richard finds himself having to try and settle a dispute between his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray. He decides that a duel should be held but then stops it just before swords clash. Both men are then banished from the realm. Richard goes to see John of Gaunt, Bolingbroke’s father, who reprimands the King. After seizing Gaunt’s money and lands following his death, Richard leaves for wars against the rebels in Ireland. Bolingbroke returns to try and claim back his inheritance.
Henry IV Part 1
Prince Hal defies his father when he spends time with his time at Mistress Quickly’s tavern in the company of the Falstaff and his companions. The King is threatened by a rebellion led by Hal’s rival Hotspur, his father and his uncle. Prince Hal joins his father at the Battle of Shrewsbury killing Hotspur in single combat.
Henry IV Part 2
Northumberland learns about the death of his son. The Lord Chief Justice tries to separate Falstaff from Prince Hal on behalf of his father. The rebels continue to plot insurrection and Falstaff is sent to recruit soldiers. Henry is finally reconciled with his son as his health fails. Falstaff makes his way to Hal’s coronation with expectations of a place in high office.
Henry V has settled onto the throne and has the makings of a fine king when the French ambassador brings a challenge from the Dauphin. Inspired by his courtiers Exeter and York, Henry swears that he will, with all force, answer this challenge. The chorus tells of England’s preparations for war and Henry’s army sails for France. After Exeter’s diplomacy is rebuffed by the French king, Henry lays a heavy siege and captures Harfleur. The French now take Henry’s claims seriously and challenge the English army to battle at Agincourt.
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