Originally published in 1986. This volume points to the rich variety of critical responses to the Henry IV plays and their complexity. It includes selections from characteristic thought of the neoclassical age, character criticism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, historical and new criticism, theatrical interpretation and other pieces by the likes of Samuel Johnson and W. H. Auden. The editor’s introduction explains the collection’s relevance and puts the pieces in context. Several chapters look at the character of Falstaff and the changing response and critique through time. Organised chronologically, the collection then ends with two pieces of theatrical criticism.
This edition celebrates King Henry VI Part 2 as one of the most exciting and dynamic plays of the English renaissance theatre, with its exploration of power politics and social revolution and its focus on the relationship between divine justice and sin. An extensive discussion of performance history traces the play's progress on stage from abridgement and adaptation to full historical epic. A survey of criticism discusses the wide range of responses provoked by the play's handling of its historical theme, and concludes by focusing on the element of burlesque in the attempted social revolution portrayed.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Literary Criticism
From the Royal Shakespeare Company – a fresh new edition of Shakespeare's tragi-comedy of youth and age, introducing the immortal Sir John Falstaff THIS EDITION INCLUDES: • An illuminating introduction to Henry IV Part I by award-winning scholar Jonathan Bate • The play - with clear and authoritative explanatory notes on each page • A helpful scene-by-scene analysis and key facts about the play • An introduction to Shakespeare's career and the Elizabethan theatre • A rich exploration of approaches to staging the play featuring photographs of key productions The most enjoyable way to understand a Shakespeare play is to see it or participate in it. This unique edition presents a historical overview of Henry IV Part I in performance, recommends film versions, takes a detailed look at specific productions and includes interviews with two leading directors and an actor– Michael Boyd, Adrian Noble and Michael Pennington – so that we may get a sense of the extraordinary variety of interpretations that are possible, a variety that gives Shakespeare his unique capacity to be reinvented and made 'our contemporary' four centuries after his death. Ideal for students, theatre-goers, actors and general readers, the RSC Shakespeare editions offer an accessible and contemporary approach to reading and rediscovering Shakespeare's works for the twenty-first century.