Kent’s Best Man: Radical Chorographic Consciousness and the Identity Politics of Local History in Shakespeare’s 2 Henry VI
- Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
In this article, the character of Jack Cade in Shakespeare’s 2 Henry VI is reconsidered through an exploration of the local history and traditions of Kent. I argue that Shakespeare, through Cade and his followers, created a sense of local historical consciousness which directly challenged the structures of chronicle history and manifests itself in various acts of self-affirmation. Shakespeare departed from his sources by giving Cade a Kentish identity. I also challenge the modern critical consensus that Shakespeare made Cade more violent than he was in the play’s chronicle sources.
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