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Paperback Henry V Book

ISBN: 1411499964

ISBN13: 9781411499966

Henry V

(Part of the Wars of the Roses (#4) Series and Shakespeare's Major Tetralogy (#4) Series)

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Book Overview

Henry V, by William Shakespeare , is part of the Barnes & Noble Shakespeare series. This unique series features newly edited texts prepared by leading scholars from America and Great Britain, in collaboration with one of the world's foremost Shakespeare authorities, David Scott Kastan of Columbia University. Together they have produced texts as faithful as possible to those that Shakespeare wrote. Each volume in the Barnes & Noble Shakespeare includes:...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Bravo to the Folger Library!

The good folks at the Folger have done a great service to all readers who have ever said, "You know, I think I would like Shakespeare better if I didn't have to contend with all those footnotes." The Folger editions have a page of the play's text on the right, while the footnotes and other applicable explanatory information are on the left hand page. I don't know exactly why that makes it easier to read and digest, but it does. Taking your eye across the page to find the footnotes is much easier and less disruptive than having to go up and down the page. I have read a couple of these editions now, and reading Shakespeare is getting easier all the time. I give some credit to the essays that begin each book, which explains some of the quirks of Shakespeare's language. The essays are basically the same from play to play, but the specific examples in the essays are taken from whatever play is featured in that particular book. Make sure to read one in detail, but you can probably skim them when you read subsequent plays. I also have to give a lot of credit to Kenneth Branaugh. After several viewings of his excellent productions, with their beautiful but nearly conversational tone, I have begun to grasp the rhythms and flow of Shakespeare's dialog. I also highly recommend Branaugh's film version of Henry V, if you want to read it and see it.

Not a play for everyone, but still Shakespeare

I can understand how other reviewers would scoff at this play as not one of Shakespeare's greatest works, but it is still a play worthy of merit. The play explores Henry's campaign in France, culminating at the battle of Agincourt, where he defeated a much larger French army. The difficulty of this play lies in the fact that Shakespeare asks us to "imagine" all of the actions of a bloody, gruesome war within the confines of a stage like the Globe. This is not an easy feat, and I'm not sure that Shakespeare is able to relate the epic nature of the medieval battlefield on the stage. I would definitely recommend reading this play for the crisp, and often funny, Shakespearean dialogue and the powerful monologues given mostly by Henry himself. The Crispian's day monologue is one of the most memorable in Shakespeare and is still required memorization for many British school children. However, if you just want to hear the best parts and avoid the drawn out nature of _reading_ drama (something Shakespeare wouldn't have dreamed of), go see the play at a good local theatre or check out Kenneth Branagh's movie version, which is extremely watchable.

A popular play in an edition fabulously rich in helps

This play is best known for the St. Crispian's Day "Band of Brothers" speech given by King Henry just before the battle at Agincourt. It is a powerful speech that rallies people at all times and everywhere. Sir Lawrence Olivier made a film version in 1944 during WWII and Kenneth Branagh made another as recently as 1989. You can count on there being more versions. Epecially so when computers can help them make spectacular battle scenes (that aren't really in the play) with less expense.Audiences love this play and they should. There is a lot to like and enjoy. I think upon repeated readings Henry becomes a more equivocal character than he seems at first. And readers of the King Henry IV plays will know him before he became King Henry and know something deeper about his personality.And of course there is the whole bit about the drive to France being sponsored by the Church to avoid confiscation of property by the Crown. Moreover, there is the slaughtering of the French prisoners, and his treatment of Falstaff (who dies offstage in this play). This isn't revisionist stuff, it is right there in the play, but it is easy to miss the first time you are trying to take in the play.In any case, this Arden edition is the one to buy and read from. Why? Because it has the most authoritative text, but that is only the beginning. It also shows variants between the early sources. The notes at the bottom of each page of the play are simply fabulous. The editor includes not only helpful notes explaining what might be obscure in the text of the play, he provides sources Shakespeare probably used such as Holinshed and makes for some very interesting study. There are also some helpful notes on how various scenes have been performed over time.And to make this sound more like an infomercial, you get more! The introduction provides great background material on the play, its sources, and how it has been performed throughout history. After the play, there is a photo reproduction of the first Quarto from 1600 and it is fairly readable. There are also a couple of maps showing the path of the English Army from Harfleur through other towns on its way to Calais and makes clear how they had to pass through Agincourt.There is also a helpful genealogical table so you can see the confusing claims used by Henry and the French nobility to make their claims. And there is a doubling chart so you can see how theater companies can perform all the roles with fewer actors.This is a great edition as are all the plays published by the Arden Shakespeare. The amount of work collected in these volumes is stunning and they will enrich your experience of the plays tremendously. I can't recommend them enough.

Excellent Publication/Version (Arden Shakespeare)

I looked long and hard (and asked many a scholar) for the "perfect" Shakespeare publication that I might purchase to study "King Henry V" (for a experiential education requirement, I had undertaken the translation of Henry V into American Sign Language). The Arden Shakespeare came highly recommended by everyone, and has lived up entirely to all its rave reviews.I will never buy Shakespeare from another publisher. While these books may be slightly more expensive than a "mass market" edition, I believe that if you are going to take the time to read and understand Shakespeare, it is well worth the extra dollar or two. The Introduction, the images, and plethora of footnotes are irreplaceable and nearly neccessary for a full understanding of the play (for those of us who are not scholars already). The photocopy of the original Quatro text in the appendix is also very interesting.All in all, well worth it! I recommend that you buy ALL of Shakespeare's work from Arden's critical editions.

The best edition of "Henry V"

Andrew Gurr's brilliant editing of Shakespeare's "Henry V" makes this essential to anyone seriously interested in this play. Gurr's introduction could almost stand on its own as a first rate scholarly article on the origins of Shakespeare's "Henry V" and the historical background in which the play was written. Domestic turmoil concerning the earl of Essex, threat of foreign invasion with the Spanish Armada, and foreign war in the Spanish Netherlands (where Sir Phillip Sidney met his untimely death) among other factors provide the impetus behind Shakespeare's most rhetorically soaring play. Of course the actual play itself is what would draw most readers, and Gurr's editing is brilliant. Based (I think) on the original so-called "Folio" version of Shakespeare's play, and including an easy to use page by page gloss, you could not ask for a better version of this play. Having written an honors thesis on this particular subject and having read Gurr's edition several times I can attest that this is the most useful and accessible edition of Shakespeare's finest play.
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