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Henry VI, Part 2 (Shakespeare, Pelican) [Kindle Edition]

William Shakespeare , A. R. Braunmuller , Stephen Orgel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.00
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

"I feel that I have spent half my career with one or another Pelican Shakespeare in my back pocket. Convenience, however, is the least important aspect of the new Pelican Shakespeare series. Here is an elegant and clear text for either the study or the rehearsal room, notes where you need them and the distinguished scholarship of the general editors, Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller who understand that these are plays for performance as well as great texts for contemplation." (Patrick Stewart)

The distinguished Pelican Shakespeare series, which has sold more than four million copies, is now completely revised and repackaged.

Each volume features:
* Authoritative, reliable texts
* High quality introductions and notes
* New, more readable trade trim size
* An essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare and essays on Shakespeare's life and the selection of texts

Editorial Reviews


"...not simply a better text but a new conception of Shakespeare. This is a major achievement of twentieth-century scholarship."--Times Literary Supplement


"...not simply a better text but a new conception of Shakespeare. This is a major achievement of twentieth-century scholarship."--Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

  • File Size: 568 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (December 1, 2000)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,625,478 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare doesn't explain, he shows May 23, 2012
With The First Part of Henry the Sixth Shakespeare comes into his own and displays the full mastery of his talents.

Staged action used to show dramatic tension characterizes and defines Shakespeare's style. We read Shakespeare with difficulty because he wrote plays meant to be seen and heard. Christopher Marlowe and others wrote plays that are easier to read because their lines are merely recited explanations, or at least that is my impression when I read Marlowe's Faust or Edward II. A Marlowe play has the main characters walk onto the stage and explain what is going on in their lives, while Shakespeare's plays presents people doing things as they would in the world, albeit in eloquently condensed and dramatized form. All the world's a stage and people merely players, says Touchstone in As You Like It. Shakespeare puts as much of the real world, action and all, on stage as he can.

Henry VI part 1 holds the earliest scene we can identify as typical Shakespearean drama. In act II scene four, Richard Plantagenet, Edmund Beaufort Duke of Somerset and others walk into a garden away from eavesdroppers to debate Richard's claim to the Dukedom of York. His father had held this title but was executed as a traitor and had his titles stripped from him. Richard protests his father was falsely accused and wrongfully condemned. Somerset holds the courts were just and Richard has no claim in law. No one else dares speak. Plots and machinations could get someone killed. So since no one speaks, Richard plucks a white rose from the garden and urges those who support him to do the same. Somerset plucks a red rose.

Shakespeare is not _explaining_ to us why the civil war that will tear England apart for four plays is called the War of the Roses.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How not to rule a kingdom August 26, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a play about leadership, or rather the lack of it. Written early in William Shakespeare's career, the three parts of Henry VI chronicle the weak leadership of England under Henry VI and the civil war that resulted.

In "1 Henry VI," Henry is a mere boy but already king. England is at war with France over territorial rights, while the noblemen of the King's court are bitterly divided. Characters of principle, such as Talbot and Gloucester, are blissfully unaware of the poisonous politics that threaten the kingdom. Those aware of the threat, such as Plantagenet and Suffock, are without principle and supplying much of the poison. Caught in the middle, young King Henry has no support in his own court. Worse, he is without a father or mentor to train him in the art of effective leadership.

With the English court divided, the French regain many of their cities including Rouen, under the able military leadership of Joan of Arc (in Shakespeare's play, Joan is a harlot and witch, as the English viewed her at the time). Lord Talbot mounts a counterattack to retake Rouen but is trapped by superior forces while attempting to capture Bordeaux. Back in London, the quarreling Dukes are pushing the kingdom toward civil war (a.k.a. the Wars of the Roses). They fail to send reinforcement troops to France and as result the English are defeated at Bordeaux and Talbot is slain. In another battle, the English capture Joan of Arc and Margaret of Anjou. Joan is condemned to death at the stake while Margaret is groomed to marry Henry VI as part of settlement that ends the war with France. As the play ends, the Wars of the Roses is poised to begin.

1 Henry VI is a cautionary tale of how bad leadership can lead to a nation's undoing.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the Greatest History Play July 17, 2006
"Henry V" and "Richard III" seem to be the most popular history plays of Shakespeare. But I myself lean towards this one. The play starts with the wedding of King Henry VI and Queen Margaret. At this point in the war between France and England, France has gained the upper hand, but England does still control Calais, Anou, Maine, Normandy, and some areas around Bordeaux. Well, the virtuous Gloucester (and the only remaining son of King Henry IV) is shocked that Anjou and Maine have to be returned to france as well. This angers York, and he thinks this is just reason to act on his claim to the crown. (In history, York was VERY LOYAL to Henry VI, and it was SEVERAL things including some threats from Margaret that made him take up arms.)

Moving on, we later see that Glouceter's wife has her eyes on the crown. Meanwhile, Margaret is growing weary of King Henry VI, and her affair with Suffolk becomes more prevalent. Act 1 ends with the dramatic scene of Pagan Prophecies and Lady Glouceter's arrest.

Act 2 begins with the comical scene of the false miracle. Though the comedy breaks when Gloucester learns of his wife's treason. York gathers his alies Salisbury and Warwick and plans his moves to seize the crown. In one of his stronger moments, King Henry VI orders the execution of those who plotted against him. Though he is smart and treats Lady Glouceter more gently. (Public Penance)

Later, we learn that England has lost all of its land in France. (Thoughin history they still held Calais, and would continue to do so even in the later reigns of King Henry VIII and his son Edward VI.)

Moving on, York, Somerset, the Cardinal, Suffolk, and Queen Margaret all accuse Gloucester of treason. He defends himself with dignity, but is arrested.
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