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Henry IV, Part One [Mass Market Paperback]

William Shakespeare , David Bevington , David Scott Kastan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 6.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1988 Henry IV, Part One
A play alive with escapades and action, comedy and history, Henry IV, Part One begins the transformation of the madcap Prince Hal into the splendid ruler King Henry. In it a rebellion against King and State is juxtaposed with another rebellion–the riotous misbehavior of Hal and his companions, principally Falstaff. A superbly funny liar, coward, lecher, and cheat, the larger-than-life character Falstaff turns this great historical drama into a masterpiece of counterpoint and design.

Each Edition Includes:
• Comprehensive explanatory notes
• Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship
• Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English
• Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories
• An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography

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Henry IV, Part One + The Collected Works of Billy the Kid + A Jest of God
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From Amazon

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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.

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1 Henry IV enjoyed an instant success in the late 1590s, owing especially to the appeal of Falstaff, and has remained popular onstage ever since. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars funny May 21 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
henry iv is misnamed since the play isn't really about king henry but about his son, prince hal, and his enemies, especially henry percy (aka 'hotspur') who is a rival to hal. hotspur is one of the leaders of the rebellion against the king and, at a tender age, is already an accomplished soldier. his story provides the drama of the play. hal, on the other hand, has fallen out of favor with the king, and is whiling away his days in the company of dissolute company, led by sir john falstaff, one of shakespeare's great characters. his adventures with sir john provide the comic relief. fortunately for the king, hal sheds his prodigal ways in time to save his father and his crown in the battle at shrewsbury, where, coincidentally, hal meets and slays his rival, hotspur.
this is one of shakespeare's best plays. the story of the rebellion is intriguing, and the adventures of hal and falstaff are laugh-out-loud hilarious. the culmination of the two stories in the final battle scene is wonderful. this is a fitting sequel to richard ii.
note that there are some historical inaccuracies and even outright inventions in this play. foremost is the character of falstaff who is pure invention (and genius). the story of hal's adventures stems from his reputation, enhanced by legend, as a playboy. falstaff was the perfect foil for a carousing prince. the biggest inaccuracy is hotspur's age. he was actually of the generation of henry iv, and not as young as he's depicted in the play. shakespeare made him younger to enhance, maybe even create, the rivalry with hal. there are other inaccuracies here, but better for the reader to consult 'shakespeare's kings', an excellent book by saccio that explains the history of the period and the discrepancies in the play.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Henry IV, Part 1": Nov. 2 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When rating Shakespeare, I am comparing it to other Shakespeare. Otherwise, the consistent "5 stars" wouldn't tell you much. So when I rate this book five stars, I'm saying it's one of the best of the best.
As a matter of fact, it isn't unusual for Shakespeare's "histories" to be more interesting to the modern reader than either his comedies or his tragedies; they fit the modern style that doesn't insist that comedies must have everything work out well in the end, or that tragedies must be deadly serious with everyone dying at the end, as was the convention in Shakespeare's time. Thus, this book has a serious plot, real drama, and blood and destruction, yet still has many extremely funny scenes. And as Shakespearean plays go, it's a fairly easy read, although in places the footnotes are still neccessary. The only caveat I will make is that one needs to remember not to consider Shakespeare's histories particularly historical; they have about as much historical accuracy as the Disney version of Pocahontas. Treat them as excellent stories based (very) loosely on history, and you'll do fine.
It's a real shame that the language has changed so much since Shakespeare was writing that his plays are no longer accessable to the masses, because that's who Shakespeare was writing for. Granted, there is enough seriousness to satisfy the intelligensia, but there is generally enough action and bawdy humor to satisfy any connouiseur of modern hit movies, if only they could understand it, and this book is no exception. Unfortunately, once you change the language, it's no longer Shakespeare, until and unless the rewriter can be found who has as much genius for the modern language as Shakespeare had for his own. I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Henry IV, Part 1 - A Struggle for a Kingdom Oct. 16 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The lengthy title for the 1598 printing was "The History of Henrie the Fourth, With the Battell at Shrewsburie, between the King and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Henrie Hotspur of the North, with the humorous conceits of Sir John Falstaffe".
Surprisingly, Hal, Prince of Wales, (later Henry V) was not even mentioned in this verbose title although many would consider him to be the central character. This play is clearly the dramatization of a struggle for a kingdom, but it is equally the story of Hal's wild and reckless youthful adventures with Falstaff and other disreputable companions.
Shakespeare did not write his plays about English kings in chronological order, but these plays do have a historical unity. It is helpful (but not essential) to read the tetralogy Richard II, Henry IV Part 1 and 2, and Henry V in chronological order. Whatever route you take, I highly recommend buying a companion copy of Peter Saccio's "Shakespeare's English Kings", an engaging look at how Shakespeare revised history to achieve dramatic effect.
A wide selection of Henry IV editions are available, including older editions in used bookstores. I am familiar with a few and have personal favorites:
The New Folger Library Shakespeare is my first choice among the inexpensive editions of Henry IV. "New" replaces the prior version in use for 35 years. It uses "facing page" format with scene summaries, explanations for rare and archaic words and expressions, and Elizabethan drawings located on the left page; the Henry IV text is on the right. I particularly liked the section on "Reading Shakespeare's Language in Henry IV" and Alexander Legget's literary analysis (save this until you have read the play).
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Avoid the book. Go to the theatre.
I, like everybody else trying to sell this book at Amazon, read this because it was required for an English class at university. I'm better for having read it. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2011 by David Sabine
4.0 out of 5 stars The better part of valor
In Part One of Shakespeare's "Henry IV," the titular king tries to defend his throne from a rebel army led by the hotheaded Hotspur, who has a long list of grievances about the... Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by A.J.
5.0 out of 5 stars henry iv part 2
the story of prince hal and his 'buddy' falstaff, continues in the second part of 'henry iv'. the last of the rebels are subdued and peace finally comes to england. Read more
Published on May 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Top 5 Shakespeare!
Having just completed Henry IV Part I, I must say that I came away delighted and impressed with Shakespeare's genius once again. Read more
Published on Dec 10 2002 by Chris Salzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the best!
Of all Shakespeare's histories, Henry IV, part I is the best. It is the first of three plays that examines the ascension of the great King Henry V. Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2001 by Karim Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry IV, Part I: Civil and Domestic Drama
Shakespeare's "Henry IV Part I" shows King Henry IV dealing with complex problems: England is in the midst of civil unrest, as the Percy family, angered by their... Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2000 by mp
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's First Masterpiece
Believe it or not, Shakespeare's funniest play will be found in the Histories section of your Complete Works. Read more
Published on March 18 2000 by Kenneth M.
5.0 out of 5 stars So-So
This is one of the harder Shakespearean reads but if you do understand it, it is an interesting adventure with memorable characters and great quotes. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 1999 by Jason B.
3.0 out of 5 stars good but a little hard to understand
i liked it that hal killed hotspur because in the movie hotspur was ugly and disgusting. everytime i looked at him i felt like i wanted to puke.
Published on Sept. 4 1999
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