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Henry IV Part 1 [Mass Market Paperback]

William Shakespeare
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)


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Book Description

March 1, 1994 0671722638 978-0671722630
Completely re-edited, the New Folger Library edition of Part 1 of Shakespeare's Henry IV is based on the best early printed version of the play. Illustrated.

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Book Description

This edition offers a strongly theatrical perspective on the origins of The First Part of King Henry IV and the history of its interpretation. In their introduction the editors clarify the play's surprising, de-centred dramatic structure, questioning the recent assumption that the drama focuses on the education of Prince Hal. They call 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (March 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671722638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671722630
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,314,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry IV, Part 1 - A Struggle for a Kingdom October 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Henry IV, Part 1": November 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry IV, Part I: Civil and Domestic Drama August 14, 2000
By mp
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 treatment after unwittingly helping Henry IV ascend to the throne, threatens to depose the monarch. At home, Henry IV is despairing over the development of his son, Henry, Prince of Wales, heir to the throne. Prince Henry consorts with thieves, rogues, and scoundrels - his scandalous personal relationships seem to threaten the King's peace of mind more than the state of his kingdom.
Aside from these larger concerns that frame the play, "Henry IV Part I" deals more with Prince Henry than it does with the monarch of the title. Throughout the play, Prince Henry is seen more amongst the rabble commoners than attending to matters of state. He is guided in his licentiousness by the enormously funny (pun intended) Sir John Falstaff, whose schemes and drunkenness are more innocent and endearing in Part I than they become in Part II.
Falstaff's reckless and conceited behaviour casts a shadow over the entire play, symbolic as it is of Prince Henry's moral dilemma and of the precarious state of the nation. Falstaff instantly calls to mind Kenneth Grahame's magnificent Mr. Toad from "The Wind in the Willows," and is Toad's direct literary forefather. Falstaff is the most interesting and dynamic figure in "Henry IV Part I" and certainly the most memorable character in the play.
Prince Henry discovers that his responsibilities outweigh his fondness for Spanish wine, and is called to lead the King's army against that of the arrogant 'Hotspur' Percy, himself a rising political force.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's "country for old men"
Henry IV, Part 2, is seldom performed today. The story, which continues the action that more or less concluded in Henry IV, Part 1, is a bit anti-climatic. So why bother? Read more
Published 4 days ago by Ricardo Mio
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy
Be very careful on the kindle download reviews for this…the reviews seemed to be clumped into the same category for different editions. Read more
Published 1 month ago by vodaman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition
The condition of this used book is excellent! I love the Signet Classics for Shakespeare's historical fictions. Signet includes historical documentation from that time period.
Published 2 months ago by Kristina SLC
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than promised
This was sold as used, but it was essentially a new book. It was a very good value for sure.
Published 3 months ago by Marilyn L Licciardello
3.0 out of 5 stars Just for a class!
Again, if any of you read my review on Elizaneth Gaskell's North and South, this book is not something that I would read on my own time! Read more
Published 4 months ago by AshNicole
5.0 out of 5 stars The strongest contender.
This is the authoritative text. Obsessively well edited. A 3rd series edition is needed to catch up to Part 1.
Published 7 months ago by Thomas E. Luddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there anything by Bill Shakes that doesn't deserve a 5/5 rating?
Barring R&J, there is perhaps no work by The Great Bard that does not deserve a 5/5 star rating. I take that back. Even R&J deserves five out of five. This one even more so.
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good version
We're using this for high school reading and like both the version and the background information. Four more words needed - Haiku reviewers need not apply.
Published 15 months ago by ps
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Edition!
I read this for school and really liked the edition! It had interesting footnotes that gave good context and much needed "translations" from Shakespearean English!
Published 17 months ago by Amanda Glasgo
4.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I saw Richard Burton play this at Stratford in 1952
Not the most exciting Shakespeare but a good and interesting transition from Part I to Henry V. I wish I had seen all three plays, in sequence, but would I have appreciated them... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ian C.
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