Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Literary Criticism
From the Royal Shakespeare Company – a fresh new edition of Shakespeare's great exploration of patriotism and war THIS EDITION INCLUDES: * An introduction to Henry V 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 V in performance, recommends film versions, takes a detailed look at specific productions and includes interviews with three leading directors - Nicholas Hytner, Michael Boyd and Ed Hall - 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.
Henry V, the climax of Shakespeare's sequence of English history plays, is an inspiring, often comic celebration of a young warrior-king. But it is also a study of the costly exhilarations of war, and of the penalties as well as the glories of human greatness. Introducing this brilliantly innovative edition, Gary Taylor shows how Shakespeare shaped his historical material, examines controversial critical interpretations, discusses the play's fluctuating fortunes in performance, and analyses the range and variety of Shakespeare's characterization. The first Folio text is radically rethought, making original use of the First Quarto (1600).
As Henry's throne is threatened by rebel forces, England is divided. The characters reflect these oppositions, with Hal and Hotspur vying for position, and Falstaff leading Hal away from his father and towards excess. During Shakespeare's lifetime Henry IV, Part I was his most reprinted play, and it remains enormously popular with theatregoers and readers. Falstaff still towers among Shakespeare's comic inventions as he did in the late 1590s. David Bevington's introduction discusses the play in both peformance and criticism from Shakespeare's time to our own, illustrating the variety of interpretations of which the text is capable. He analyses the play's richly textured language in a detailed commentary on individual words and phrasesand clearly explains its historical background.
'Shakespeare loves loose ends; Shakespeare also loves red herrings.' Stephen Orgel Loose ends and red herrings are the stuff of detective fiction, and under the scrutiny of master sleuths John Sutherland and Cedric Watts Shakespeare's plays reveal themselves to be as full of mysteries as any Agatha Christie novel. Is it summer or winter in Elsinore? Do Bottom and Titania make love? Does Lady Macbeth faint, or is she just pretending? How does a man putrefy within minutes of his death? Is Cleopatra a deadbeat Mum? And why doesn't Juliet ask 'O Romeo Montague, wherefore art thou Montague?' As Watts and Sutherland explore these and other puzzles Shakespeare's genuius becomes ever more apparent. Speculative, critical, good-humoured and provocative, their discussions shed light on apparent anachronisms, perfromance and stagecraft, linguistics, Star Trek and much else. Shrewd and entertaining, these essays add a new dimension to the pleasure of reading or watching Shakespeare. 'Few modern academics are doing quite so much as Professor Sutherland to connect the "common reader" with great books' Independent
This important new edition of one of Shakespeare's more neglected plays offers a wide-ranging critical introduction, concentrating on its relevance to Elizabethan political issues and on the role played in it by women, the family, and the law. There is a comprehensive stage history, and fulland helpful annotation pays special attention to the play's language and staging.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is perhaps the best loved of Shakespeare's plays. It brings together aristocrats, workers, and fairies in a wood outside Athens, and from there the enchantment begins. In the introduction to this edition, Peter Holland pays particular attention to dreams and dreamers, and to Shakespeare's construction of a world of night and shadows. Both here and in his commentary he explores the play's extensive performance history to illustrate the wide range of interpretations of which it is capable. - ;A Midsummer Night's Dream is perhaps the best loved of Shakepeare's plays. It brings together aristocrats, workers, and fairies in a wood outside Athens, and from there the enchantment begins. Simple and engaging on the surface, it is none the less a highly original and sophisticated work, remarkable for both its literary and its theatrical mastery. It is one of the very few of Shakespeare's plays which do not draw on narrative sources, which suggests that it reflects his deepest imaginative concerns to an unusual degree. In his introduction Peter Holland pays particular attention to dreams and dreamers, and to Shakespeare's construction of a world of night and shadows. Both here and in his commentary he explores the play's extensive performance history to illustrate the wide range of interpretations of which it is capable. -
Deftly combining history and tragedy, Shakespeare's tale of bad government and usurpation had great political immediacy for its first audiences. This version of the text is based on the early quartos and first Folio of 1623. It is complemented by an introduction that places the play in its own time, thorough textual notes, and full commentary.
The Oxford Shakespeare General Editor: Stanley Wells The Oxford Shakespeare offer authoritative texts from leading scholars in editions designed to interpret and illuminate the plays for modern readers - a new, modern-spelling text, collated and edited from the early texts - wide-ranging introduction discusses the play's historical contexts, political significance, characters, sources, and language - detailed stage history designed to meet the needs of students and theatre professionals - on-page commentary and notes explain meaning, allusions, staging, and much else - illustrated with production photographs, historical portraits, textual facsimiles, and map - full index to introduction and commentary - durable sewn binding for lasting use 'not simply a better text but a new conception of Shakespeare' Times Literary Supplement ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 1,00, Staatliche Berufliche Oberschule Fachoberschule / Berufsoberschule Kaufbeuren, language: English, abstract: "King Henry V" has always been considered as Shakespeare's most patriotic play, one could even argue his most nationalistic play. "King Henry V" appears to be the story of the ideal English king who is brave, charismatic, honourable and pious or as Shakespeare puts it, he is "the mirror of all Christian kings" who fights for what is righteously his and leads his "band of brothers" to victory against impossible odds. However, to truly understand Shakespeare's motivations, we have to take a look at the tumultuous time in which the play was written. Under the reign of Elizabeth I., England had either been at war or at the constant threat of one for decades. It was a time of frequent conspiracies to overthrow the queen and bloody rebellions. In this context the play can be seen as an attempt to raise the morale and to rally the English around a common cause. This interpretation becomes plausible given the fact that the play's popularity increased whenever England was threatened, for example in both world wars and the Napoleonic wars. Nevertheless "King Henry V" is not just simple wartime propaganda, it's an ambiguous play which can be interpreted both as a glorification of war or alternatively as a subtle critique of the cruelty and futility of war. It lies entirely in the eye of the beholder. Someone with a patriotic point of view might identify himself with the virtuous Henry or admire that - although weakened by plague and famine - the English soldiers and their king defeats a superior French army, whereas a more critical reader might question the legitimacy of waging a war of aggression in the first place. Furthermore particularly modern readers feel disgusted by the killing of the unarmed prisoners at the battle of Agincourt. Nowadays it would be considered a war cri