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Henry V (Folger Shakespeare Library) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2004

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About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—their older daughter Susanna and the twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent, not in Stratford, but in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright, but as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Sometime between 1610 and 1613, Shakespeare is thought to have retired from the stage and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616.

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Product Details

  • Series: Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Mass Market Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743484878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743484879
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,926 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

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jocelyn Price on May 25, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The good folks at the Folger have done a great service to all readers who have ever said, "You know, I think I would like Shakespeare better if I didn't have to contend with all those footnotes." The Folger editions have a page of the play's text on the right, while the footnotes and other applicable explanatory information are on the left hand page. I don't know exactly why that makes it easier to read and digest, but it does. Taking your eye across the page to find the footnotes is much easier and less disruptive than having to go up and down the page.

I have read a couple of these editions now, and reading Shakespeare is getting easier all the time. I give some credit to the essays that begin each book, which explains some of the quirks of Shakespeare's language. The essays are basically the same from play to play, but the specific examples in the essays are taken from whatever play is featured in that particular book. Make sure to read one in detail, but you can probably skim them when you read subsequent plays.

I also have to give a lot of credit to Kenneth Branaugh. After several viewings of his excellent productions, with their beautiful but nearly conversational tone, I have begun to grasp the rhythms and flow of Shakespeare's dialog. I also highly recommend Branaugh's film version of Henry V, if you want to read it and see it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maci and Zoe Read Books on February 14, 2015
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Henry V by William Shakespeare is about King Henry V and England's war with France. This was my first of Shakespeare's work that I have read, I read it in class at school, and I loved it. It is about King Henry V going to war with France. Henry V is told by the Bishop of Canterbury that he should go to war with France because it is his birthright and that the Catholic Church will pay for it. At first Henry V doesn't want to go to war without a just reason, doesn't want to unnecessarily risk people's lives. But then the Dauphin (Prince of France) insults Henry V and gives a just reason to start a war. I really loved the statements that were made about class relations and Henry V's speeches. I would recommend this book to anyone reading Shakespeare for the first time. I would really recommend the Folger Shakespeare Library edition because it makes it easy to read with the glossary of the words on the page right next to it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jack on February 8, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The ad promises explanatory notes on facing pages and some nice things from the Folger Library.

Alas, I am bereft; of notes and Folger I have found none in the Kindle edition.

Well, first off I admit I haven't read the play yet. I just purchased it. But I clicked through about 40 pages and all there is is Shakespeare. (As if that is a disappointment!! It is certainly not) But I bought this edition and paid extra for it because of those features.

Are they somewhere tucked into the Kindle edition that I haven't seen yet?

I also purchased the MobiPocket version, which was only $0.99. It has hyperlinks between Acts and Scenes. This seems to be a superior Kindle version for that reason.

I really don't care. I don't need help understanding Shakespeare. It is a total treat. But I just thought folks ought to be warned.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Many of the other reviewers have pointed out the incredible value of having notes on the facing page in the Folger editions. Each line with a note is marked and you simply have to look across to find it. If you are not familiar with the Folger editions, I want to specify a bit what “note” means because that word in itself can be misleading and sometimes a turn-off for potential readers, especially students and new readers (or retirees who want to read Shakespeare at ease for the first time). These “notes” for Henry V are not like typical footnotes. They are, at least at times, more like vital translations.

There are at least four features of Shakespeare’s writing that the notes clarify. Often I would have had no idea what was being said without the notes.

1) Outdated words and phrases: When in disguise among his troops, Henry is asked by Pistol: “Trail’st thou the puissant pike?” Note for line 42 on opposite page: Trail’st…pike?: i.e., are you infantry? puissant: powerful.

2) References to mythology or history or locations unfamiliar to us: Nym says to Pistol: “I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me.” Note for line 55 on opposite page: Barbason: a name for a devil. In Henry’s famous speech before the Battle of Agincourt, he says: “This day is called the feast of Crispian.” Note for line 43: feast of Crispian: October 25, actually the feast day of the Roman brothers Crispinus and Crispianus, the patrons of shoemakers. (This reference is well-known to regular readers of Shakespeare but not to new readers.)

3) Metaphors and double meanings: After being ordered into the breach in the wall, Pistol says to Fluellen: “Be merciful, great duke, to men of mold.” Note for line 23 says including the parentheses: men of mold: i.e.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What's not to love about Barbara Mowat's student friendly Folger editions?

An ESL, literature, and theatre teacher on the Navajo Reservation, I used the Folger introduction as a spring board for a dazzling research project and Shakespeare Exhibition. The introduction to reading Shakespeare's language, "broke the code" of the syntax, freeing students to be literary detectives and unravel the meaning of challenging passages. The section on Shakespeare 's education was pivotal in our debate to determine if William was indeed the author of the play. The scene-by-scene plot summaries were indispensable. The wonderful images and explanatory notes, placed on pages facing the text, supported close reading and will prepare students for the Common Core assessments.

I favor Arden editions when directing a play, but they have too many annotations for high school students and distract the flow of the script. I favor Rex Gibson's Cambridge school editions and the Globe's "Shakespeare on your Feet" editions to actively and magically engage students into the wondrous world of Shakespeare. (NOTE: The glorious Globe versions are a bit pricey on a teacher's salary).

Scholarly but not intimidating, Folger editions are affordable, welcoming. When I use Folger editions in my classes, I am confident that I've given my students a splendid entrance into Shakespeare's world and imagination. Pair this edition with the stellar bank of lesson plays available on the Folger Library's website or the Royal Shakespeare Company's wondrous activities that remind us that this play is a script and the best way to engage students is through their own performance.
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