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King Richard II (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) Paperback – March 21, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-1903436332 ISBN-10: 1903436338 Edition: 3rd

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King Richard II (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) + King Henry IV, Part 1 (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) (Pt. 1) + King Henry V (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 612 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare; 3rd edition (March 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903436338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903436332
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles R. Forker is Professor of English Emeritus at Indiana University, Bloomington. His many publications include critical editions of Shirley's The Cardinal and Marlowe's Edward II, and a major study of the works of Webster, Skull Beneath the Skin: The Achievement of John Webster. His most recent work is a study of Shakespeare's Richard II, entitled Shakespeare: The Critical Tradition: 'Richard II'.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is the best edition in the Arden collection I have read until now, by Charles Forker.
islander
I am a huge fan of the Arden editions and enjoy reading the plays with all this helpful material and I strongly recommend this edition of this play.
Craig Matteson
Shakespeare's plays have a very specific format which can be seen very accurately on the farthest out zoom, but it wraps the text on closer zoom.
Christopher Barrett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This play is the first of four histories involving the rise of Harry Bolingbroke into King Henry IV (parts I & II) and then his son, Prince Hal, into Henry V. These four plays are always popular with audiences and have many virtues, although they are quite different in affect and theatrical means. This play is full of poetry and carefully composed verse. The two Henry IV plays are blessed the Falstaff's glorious prose and Henry V has its own interesting dualities in Prince Hal finally becoming the King - are his comments sincere or full or irony or is he blind to the irony of his own making? But those are other plays.

As this play begins, the York line is in power as Richard II who came to power as a child. Henry Bolingbroke is the son of the Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt) and is also the Duke of Hereford as the Earl of Derby. Richard shows through his actions and weak decisions (both weak in strength and weak in acumen) that his hold on the throne is open to challenge. When Bolingbroke decides to make the challenge is open to debate, but he picks a fight with Mowbray and both end up banished instead. This causes a tremendous rift with the Duke of Lancaster and when he dies, Richard decides to seize Lancaster's possessions in Ireland instead of letting them pass to Bolingbroke.

Since Bolingbroke is now the new Duke of Lancaster he decides he is no longer the banished Duke of Hereford and returns to England. A number of rumors and challenges lead to Bolingbroke taking power and when Richard returns from Ireland his loss of his kingdom is accomplished without his realizing it. The rest of the play is the fall of Richard and the rise of Henry IV with the attendant strain on the loyalties of the peers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By islander on November 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the best edition in the Arden collection I have read until now, by Charles Forker. Very helpful to understand meaning with clear footnotes and a serious introduction in which, for example, you learn about historical and fictional facts in the play, and many other clues.
I agreed with a reviewer of another Arden work who said: "The text itself is full of stumbling, often unhelpful endnotes - what students surely want are explanations of difficult words and figures, not a history of scholarly pedantry. The edition concludes with textual appendices."
It happened to me before but fortunately not in this work, which is excellent. The editor makes the difference. I hope Arden Series follows this line!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barrett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
King Richard II Kindle free version.

Very good, accurate version. Read it and then used as a reference while watching a BBC film version of this play.

Of note, the formatting can be a bit odd, especially if you are zooming in a bit. Shakespeare's plays have a very specific format which can be seen very accurately on the farthest out zoom, but it wraps the text on closer zoom.

But I didn't notice a single error from the actual print version (which I only have in a very large Complete Works collection). Highly recommended, especially for the price!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. W. Peterson on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Assuming you have already decided to read this play but want to know how it looks on a kindle. It's not awesome. But it's not overly distracting, either. There's no floating footnotes to break up text which some editions annoyingly feature, but no clickable, embedded footnotes either, which some editions offer. Just a straightforward copy of the text itself without any extra notes whatsoever. Great for the $$.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Marvin Coplin on May 31, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sing song dialog through most of the play makes for an entertaining read. Kindle version has several spelling and formatting errors. But as a free intro to the tetrad, it is definitely worth downloading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful introductory notes elucidating the history of the house of Plantagenet, the ongoing civil wars and Shakespeare's use of verse and imagery. Good dissection in the footnotes of references, antecedents and sentence structure. A must for actors and directors. Invaluable in enlightening this period of Shakespeare's writing.
A great help for actors in detecting the sense of verse, psychology and sentences. Footnotes are admirable in their illumination of the logic of Shakespeare's comparisons and the details and responsibilities of kingship to GOD and country..
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some tough dialogue and soliloquies from a lesser known Shakespeare work. A trilling read of the first in the line of Shakespear's King accounts.
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By Ron Powell on October 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While obviously I'm not qualified to critique the writings of Shakespeare, I have found this inexpensive version of Richard II to be an invaluable aid in following the new PSB version on TV.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


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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King Richard II (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)
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