Steve Sohmer
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‘Who’s there?’
The men behind the masks of Falstaff, Faulconbridge, Lamord and Hamlet
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This chapter identifies three postmortem tributes: the first for William Brooke, Lord Cobham, in Henry V; a second for Henry Carey, first Baron Hunsdon, in King John; the third for Carey and his son, George, in Hamlet Q2. In recovering these lost encomia the chapter reveals the historical figures behind some of William Shakespeare's most remarkable, memorable characters. There is evidence that Shakespeare placed the death of Sir John Falstaff immediately after Henry's discovery of the conspiracy of Richard, Earl of Cambridge. King John's most admired Shakespearean creation is dismissed as a supernumerary: 'King John with Philip Faulconbridge as hero is a play without form and void, signifying nothing. Remarkable Antiquities of the City of Exeter is a tale uncannily parallel to Shakespeare's anecdote of Lamord. In the Folio the 'dram of eale' soliloquy has vanished and Lamord has become Lamound.

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Shakespeare for the wiser sort

Solving Shakespeare’s riddles in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, King John, 1–2 Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth and Cymberline


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