Uncolting Falstaff

The Oats Complex and Energy Usage in 1 Henry IV

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Putting a green twist on an old Marxist formula, this ecomaterialist study of mobility in the Shakespearean history play aims to “follow the energy.” The chorographical scope of the Second Henriad reflects the growing sophistication of transportation networks in sixteenth-century Britain. Although road-building played a crucial role in the formation of modern nationhood, Shakespeare reminds us that the movement of goods and persons was literally fueled by oats and other crops, the availability of which was subject to the vagaries of the English climate. As a player who was part of the vagrant economy and the son of a provincial Ale-taster who would have helped regulate energy costs, Shakespeare would have been well aware of the nation’s growing reliance on affordable fodder.
Composed during a period of dire scarcity triggered by the Little Ice Age, Shakespeare’s 1 Henry IV traces a link between political and ecological instability. Its subversion of chivalric heroism initiates a corresponding interrogation of the horse’s role in a postchivalric society, raising prescient questions about the ethics of transportation. In the context of a late Elizabethan energy crisis exacerbated by surging demand for fuel due to a boom in personal transit, the insistent critiques of Hotspur’s and Falstaff’s overreliance on horse-power pack an ecocritical punch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-99
Number of pages18
JournalShakespeare Jahrbuch
Volume153
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

Energy
Henry IV
William Shakespeare
Horse
Fodder
Players
Subversion
Little Ice Age
Nationhood
Sophistication
Climate
Elizabethan Age
Interrogation
History Plays
Reliance
Costs
Scarcity
Provincial
Boom
Heroism

Cite this

@article{05bf62c9d89b4daea2100a551b1226f2,
title = "Uncolting Falstaff: The Oats Complex and Energy Usage in 1 Henry IV",
abstract = "Putting a green twist on an old Marxist formula, this ecomaterialist study of mobility in the Shakespearean history play aims to “follow the energy.” The chorographical scope of the Second Henriad reflects the growing sophistication of transportation networks in sixteenth-century Britain. Although road-building played a crucial role in the formation of modern nationhood, Shakespeare reminds us that the movement of goods and persons was literally fueled by oats and other crops, the availability of which was subject to the vagaries of the English climate. As a player who was part of the vagrant economy and the son of a provincial Ale-taster who would have helped regulate energy costs, Shakespeare would have been well aware of the nation’s growing reliance on affordable fodder.Composed during a period of dire scarcity triggered by the Little Ice Age, Shakespeare’s 1 Henry IV traces a link between political and ecological instability. Its subversion of chivalric heroism initiates a corresponding interrogation of the horse’s role in a postchivalric society, raising prescient questions about the ethics of transportation. In the context of a late Elizabethan energy crisis exacerbated by surging demand for fuel due to a boom in personal transit, the insistent critiques of Hotspur’s and Falstaff’s overreliance on horse-power pack an ecocritical punch.",
author = "Todd Borlik",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "153",
pages = "81--99",
journal = "Shakespeare Jahrbuch",
issn = "1430-2527",

}

Uncolting Falstaff : The Oats Complex and Energy Usage in 1 Henry IV. / Borlik, Todd.

In: Shakespeare Jahrbuch, Vol. 153, 01.01.2017, p. 81-99.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Uncolting Falstaff

T2 - The Oats Complex and Energy Usage in 1 Henry IV

AU - Borlik, Todd

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - Putting a green twist on an old Marxist formula, this ecomaterialist study of mobility in the Shakespearean history play aims to “follow the energy.” The chorographical scope of the Second Henriad reflects the growing sophistication of transportation networks in sixteenth-century Britain. Although road-building played a crucial role in the formation of modern nationhood, Shakespeare reminds us that the movement of goods and persons was literally fueled by oats and other crops, the availability of which was subject to the vagaries of the English climate. As a player who was part of the vagrant economy and the son of a provincial Ale-taster who would have helped regulate energy costs, Shakespeare would have been well aware of the nation’s growing reliance on affordable fodder.Composed during a period of dire scarcity triggered by the Little Ice Age, Shakespeare’s 1 Henry IV traces a link between political and ecological instability. Its subversion of chivalric heroism initiates a corresponding interrogation of the horse’s role in a postchivalric society, raising prescient questions about the ethics of transportation. In the context of a late Elizabethan energy crisis exacerbated by surging demand for fuel due to a boom in personal transit, the insistent critiques of Hotspur’s and Falstaff’s overreliance on horse-power pack an ecocritical punch.

AB - Putting a green twist on an old Marxist formula, this ecomaterialist study of mobility in the Shakespearean history play aims to “follow the energy.” The chorographical scope of the Second Henriad reflects the growing sophistication of transportation networks in sixteenth-century Britain. Although road-building played a crucial role in the formation of modern nationhood, Shakespeare reminds us that the movement of goods and persons was literally fueled by oats and other crops, the availability of which was subject to the vagaries of the English climate. As a player who was part of the vagrant economy and the son of a provincial Ale-taster who would have helped regulate energy costs, Shakespeare would have been well aware of the nation’s growing reliance on affordable fodder.Composed during a period of dire scarcity triggered by the Little Ice Age, Shakespeare’s 1 Henry IV traces a link between political and ecological instability. Its subversion of chivalric heroism initiates a corresponding interrogation of the horse’s role in a postchivalric society, raising prescient questions about the ethics of transportation. In the context of a late Elizabethan energy crisis exacerbated by surging demand for fuel due to a boom in personal transit, the insistent critiques of Hotspur’s and Falstaff’s overreliance on horse-power pack an ecocritical punch.

UR - http://shakespeare-gesellschaft.de/en/jahrbuch/volume-153-2017/contents.html

M3 - Article

VL - 153

SP - 81

EP - 99

JO - Shakespeare Jahrbuch

JF - Shakespeare Jahrbuch

SN - 1430-2527

ER -