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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: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,628 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'.

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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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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4 of 4 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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. W. Peterson on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Amazon 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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By THUMBTOM on April 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
There can never be a Fourth Arden Shakespeare. Coloured pictures must never run in the silent cinema where The Arden runs its “Priscian but a little scratched” 38mm projections. Coloured plates! Among the woodcuts it would be frightening.
This unwieldy Richard II (600 pages with index) is an example of the mighty Third Arden. In print this is clearly as far as it is possible to go with ink on thicker paper. The thinner stock chosen for the second Arden (300 pages no index) looks a very slim piece of work by its side; dashed off in “a term’s leave of absence” for which, in its preface, Peter Ure breathlessly thanks “the Council of King’s College”.

Why so thick? After six years’ work, Charles R. Forker disingenuously apologises for hefty quotation in the footnotes from Holinshed and Woodstock and all the rest; that might “overwhelm the text”. On top of obsessive noting of every alexandrine and compulsive suggestions how failures in the pentameter might be force fed to us, it is indeed hard to tell the rooky wood from the paper pulp of the trees. Unlike The Cambridge which has sensibly decided to add accents to the basic text, there is a footnote for every single accented è. It takes some time to become familiar with the Arden abbreviations: SD, SP, t.n. and LN. It is not difficult; but the constant turning back; looking for willow wands to divine for an abbreviations list; checking the bibliography; hailing a taxi and speeding along in the long notes, getting out while the meter is running; stopping the reading, is finally depressing. This is as far as we can take the typesetters art. It is no longer the way to go. We want something we can look at on the phone.

I dream of a day when copyright is laughed at; when we’ll be able to put our own text together.
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Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
The Bantam version of any Shakespeare work includes scholarly descriptions of the work, including the historical context. It also includes a description of various theatrical and cinematic presentation. Finally, the text of the play includes numerous definitions of archaic terms.
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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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