Written between 1596 and 1597, Henry IV Part One represents Shakespeare's increasingly mature talent in staging the history of the early Tudor monarchy. Midway in the cycle of Shakespeare's History Plays, which begin with Richard II and ultimately culminate in his last play, Henry VIII, Henry IV Part One tells the story of the troubled reign of Henry IV following his deposition of Richard II. The historical action revolves around the attempt by Henry Percy (known as Hotspur) to overthrow Henry at the Battle of Shrewsbury. However, over half the play deals with the transformation of Henry's profligate son, Prince Hal (the future King Henry V), from tavern joker to national icon.
The whole play is stolen from its kings and princes by Shakespeare's greatest comic creation, the "fat-kidneyed rascal" Sir John Falstaff, king of his own dominions--the taverns and brothels of London's Eastcheap district. The tavern scenes of the play are some of the most evocative accounts of 16th-century popular London life. They revolve around the comical but ultimately sinister relationship between Falstaff and his young apprentice Hal, who learns to "so offend to make offence a skill" as he learns the slippery ropes of realpolitik and kingship. The play is considered by many to be the liveliest and most profound of Shakespeare's History Plays, and remains one of its most popular examples. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"The Weils's New Cambridge ^1 Henry IV takes a skillful route...making judicious choices at every level, from its nicely gauged textual commentary to its full account of the play's scholarly, critical, and theatrical histories. Clearly written with nonspecialists in mind, it should prove especially exciting for that audience, but there is much for the specialist reader as well." Shakespeare Quarterly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This edition offers a strongly theatrical perspective on the origins of The First Part of King Henry IV and the history of its interpretation. In their introduction the editors clarify the play's surprising, de-centred dramatic structure, questioning the recent assumption that the drama focuses on the education of Prince Hal. They call attention to the effects of civil war upon a broad range of relationships. Falstaff's unpredictable vitality is explored, together with important contemporary values of honour, friendship, festivity and reformation --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
black and white line illustrations --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet and playwright widely regarded as the greatest writer of the English language, as well as one of the greatest in Western literature, and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.