Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


“’I cannot tell wat is dat’: Linguistic Conflict in Shakespeare’s King Henry V, a Plenary Talk by Dr. Jean-Christophe Mayer

Jean-Christope Mayer Headshot
Special Collections Library, Room 277

Jean-Christophe Mayer is a Research Professor employed by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He is also a member of the Institute for Research on the Renaissance, the Neo-classical Age and the Enlightenment (IRCL) at Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier. His latest monograph is entitled Shakespeare’s Early Readers: A Cultural History from 1590 to 1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). Since 2017, he is an expert for the European Commission in the field of humanities.  

This talk will  on Shakespeare’s King Henry V as a linguistically conflicted piece of writing that “anatomises the concept of nationhood.” Dr. Mayer will focus on two scenes in his talk – the scene almost entirely in French (3.5.), during which Princess Katherine of France tries to learn a few rudiments of English from her servant Alice, and the wooing scene between Henry V and the Princess where Alice acts partly as an interpreter between the two (5.2) – exploit and expose linguistic and cultural faultlines. Both scenes encapsulate many of the issues of the play at large. Moreover, while questioning the idea of foreignness through specific linguistic interplay, they challenge the very notion of Shakespearean scenic division in theatrically productive ways. 

A plenary lecture for the Scenes in the Other's Language conferece, this talk is sponsored by Georgia Humanities, the FACE Foundation, University of Georgia, CNRS, IRCL, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, and the Willson Center for Humanities & Arts. All events are free and open to the public.

Support English at UGA

We greatly appreciate your generosity. Your gift enables us to offer our students and faculty opportunities for research, travel, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Support the efforts of the Department of English by visiting our giving section. 
Give Now