First Part of King Henry IV

ISBN-10: 0521687438
ISBN-13: 9780521687430
Edition: 2nd 2007 (Revised)
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Description: This updated edition offers a strongly theatrical perspective on the origins of Shakespeare's First Part of King Henry IV and the history of its interpretation. The introduction clarifies the play's surprising, de-centred dramatic structure,  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.99
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/18/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 251
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.198
Language: English

This updated edition offers a strongly theatrical perspective on the origins of Shakespeare's First Part of King Henry IV and the history of its interpretation. The introduction clarifies the play's surprising, de-centred dramatic structure, questioning the dominant assumption that the drama focuses on the education of Prince Hal. It calls 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. Extensive lexical glosses of obscure, ambiguous or archaic meanings make the rich wordplay accessible. The notes also provide a thorough commentary on Shakespeare's transformation of his sources (particularly Holinshed's Chronicles) and suggest alternative stagings. This updated edition contains a new introductory section by Katharine A. Craik, which describes recent stage, film and critical interpretations, and an updated reading list.

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

List of illustrations
Preface
List of abbreviations and conventions
Introduction
Reputation
Date
The design of the play
Transforming the sources
The appeal of Falstaff and the contexts of interpretation
Stage history
Recent stage, film and critical interpretations
Note on the text
List of characters
The Play
Textual analysis
Shakespeare and Holinshed
Reading list

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