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Henry V (Dover Thrift Editions)

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486428871
ISBN-10: 0486428877
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

By the time depicted in this play, Henry has turned into the greatest of English kings. Though he has retained the common touch and sense of humor he showed as Falstaff's bosom buddy in the two parts of Henry IV, he has become fiercely focused. He punishes those who have plotted against him; in battle against the French, he shows himself an indomitable leader of men; and, at the end, he conquers even the heart of Catherine, the beautiful daughter of the French king.
Henry V is one of the most popular of Shakespeare's plays—partly because it brings further news of the downward-spiraling fortunes of some of the beloved scoundrels from Henry IV, and partly because it is so intensely patriotic. Who can keep dry-eyed, who can keep his or her heart from welling up, when Henry gives his great speech before the battle of Agincourt?

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (February 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486428877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486428871
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King's New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers." Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later under James I, called the King's Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Atkins on January 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I can understand how other reviewers would scoff at this play as not one of Shakespeare's greatest works, but it is still a play worthy of merit. The play explores Henry's campaign in France, culminating at the battle of Agincourt, where he defeated a much larger French army. The difficulty of this play lies in the fact that Shakespeare asks us to "imagine" all of the actions of a bloody, gruesome war within the confines of a stage like the Globe. This is not an easy feat, and I'm not sure that Shakespeare is able to relate the epic nature of the medieval battlefield on the stage.

I would definitely recommend reading this play for the crisp, and often funny, Shakespearean dialogue and the powerful monologues given mostly by Henry himself. The Crispian's day monologue is one of the most memorable in Shakespeare and is still required memorization for many British school children.

However, if you just want to hear the best parts and avoid the drawn out nature of _reading_ drama (something Shakespeare wouldn't have dreamed of), go see the play at a good local theatre or check out Kenneth Branagh's movie version, which is extremely watchable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kate on October 4, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I disagree. I loved Henry V! I've memorized parts of it because it's just that good. Today Shakespeare's work is almost universally considered some of the best literature written, but he really wrote to entertain and to educate. What more can you ask for?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dauphin1077 on January 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am teaching Henry V in a college writing class, and this copy of the play is perfect for those who have never read Shakespeare before. At a very low purchase price, my students have an easy to hold, light weight book. There is a short introduction that gives a brief history of the play and its early stage production, and each pages has effective glosses at the bottom to explain or define uncommon terms. While a more expensive scholarly edition provides far more front matter for those with a strong interest in Shakespeare's military history play, this Dover thrift Edition of Henry V is a marvelous place to start. Highly Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This play is one of my favorite plays of Shakespeare. The details of Henry V's campaign in France are of historical import to the present day. The French still revile him, the English still love him. I find this play to be an important example of patriotic fervor and inspiring propaganda in an historical drama.

The scene is of course besotted with the blood of the French, and Henry attempting to gain his just inheritance as King of France, which his Archbishop of Canterbury dutifully tells him is rightfully Henry's. However the fight of the play comes when the French, haughty as ever, insult him. He gets his revenge.

The Crispin's Day Speech is one of Shakespeare's most iconic. It is the evident response by every underdog in every fight ever since. I find the English glazing over the eventual loss of France as one of the great side steps, that always comes in pieces of patriotic propaganda. Why is it that just when the English King triumphs in battle, the French King somehow has a beautiful daughter to prance in front of his would-be conqueror?

As literal history, of course this play is wanting. As high historical drama it is probably Shakespeare's best.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a small book for my college class on shakespeare and all i could find was these gigantic books of his workds but with other peoples interpretations. Not what i wanted. then i just so happens that i stumbled upon the Dover Editions and they are great they contain just the individual work. Perfect!
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