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Henry V Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1 1998
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From Library Journal
The three individual plays launch the third edition of the venerable "Arden Shakespeare" series, which will see the entire canon reproduced in superior scholarly editions by the year 2000. The First Folio is a facsimile edition of the original 1623 publication of the bard's works.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"Another in this superior series that clearly should be the texts of choice...This volume, edited by Andrew Gurr, has approximately sixty pages of introduction, each page of which is a joy to read." Stages "This introduction includes the most lucid discussion of the Salic-law problem I have come across...The notes to an edition are probably what most people turn to an edition for and they are this edition's strongest feature. They are detailed and responsive...if this edition is used as a classroom text, the caliber of Gurr's sprightly glosses will greatly elevate the level of discussion; where it is not the text assigned to the students, whatever instructor covertly consults Gurr's glosses is sure to appear omniscient." Claire E. McEachern, Shakespeare Quarterly "...when he is analyzing Shakespeare's use of sources and the language and actions of the characters, Gurr is careful, objective, balanced, and often incisive...excellent critical examinations..." William B. Long, TEXT: Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Henry was not the nice "Welshman to the core" of this play. After Agincourt, he ordered "the slaughter of all disarmed prisoners, noble or otherwise, and his foot soldiers watched, deeply shocked as two hundred archers stabbled, clubbed, or burned the captives to death."
Coupled with the fact that Henry didn't smile once during his victorious progress through London...I must conclude that the historical guy was an evil hardass.
The Duke of York was not stabbed to death, and did not dramatically barf blood like in the Kenneth Branagh film. "He was a big man and very overweight, and it is reported that he either suffocated to death in his armor or suffered a heart attack in the press of the fighting."
So the next time you read Shakespeare, especially this play or, my favorite ahistorical pro-Lancastrian history twister, Richard III....just remember.... Shakespeare is a damned liar. :-)
Thanks to Alison Weir for the information in "The Wars of the Roses".
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.Read more ›
as usual, there are many historical inaccuracies in the play. the most amusing is the death of the duke of york at agincourt. in the play, he's reported to have died valiantly in battle and is therefore hailed as a hero. in fact, he died from injuries sustained when he fell off his horse! he was a fat old man, not exactly the picture we see when we think of war heroes. the lop-sided victory at agincourt is also exaggerated. shakespeare claims that no more than 'five and twenty' died on the english side. actually, about 500 died. 7000 french were killed, however, so it was still a wildly one-sided victory.
There is a host of other colorful characters in the play (such as Ancient Pistol) but Henry V suffers in comparison with the two parts of Henry IV because of the absence of Falstaff. Falstaff is the most interesting character in the Henriad. By this time, King Harry has treacherously banished Falstaff and he has died of a broken heart. Therefore, there is no cynical commentary in Henry V. If Falstaff had been around, he would have completely undermined King Harry's posturing.
The induring legacy of the play seems to be the films made of it by Olivier and Branagh. Ironically, these are two of the best films made of Shakespeare - partially because the play is so direct and accessible. It is a short, brutal piece about war. King Harry is so good at making speeches, most readers miss Shakespeare's subtle judgement on his central character's hypocrasy.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a fantastic film adaptation of Shakespeare's play Henry V. Kenneth Branagh does a fantastic job of portraying "Prince Hal" from his transition to king of England... Read morePublished on May 7 2013 by jennifer
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 morePublished on Dec 30 2011 by David Sabine
Written by Shakespeare for Queen Elizabeth I amidst a time of Irish rebellion, Henry V more than adequately serves its intended purpose of galvanizing nationalistic fervor. Read morePublished on Dec 20 2002 by Chris Salzer
On D-Day British officers read Henry's famous words to their men as they approached the beach. When Churchill needed material for his famous "Few" speech, his thoughts... Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2002
What strikes me most is the play's faceted nature. In *Henry V*, Shakespeare is like a jeweler, cutting through the action of war -- the true subject of this play -- to fashion an... Read morePublished on July 31 2000 by Mark K. Jensen
Required to read Henry for my AP English Language class, I came into the play with a bias. I honestly felt that it would be a boring political play. I was utterly wrong! Read morePublished on June 29 1999
How does one review Shakespeare? Well, I shall try... A history buff (more specifically, a medieval history buff) I am probably the only person who enjoys Shakespeare's history... Read morePublished on Sept. 25 1998