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Henry V (Henry the Fifth) Paperback – May 29, 2013
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About the Author
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger Shakespeare Library offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances and of essays on Shakespeare's plays and their editing.
Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King's University College at the University of Western Ontario. He is general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare's plays.
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The BBC is more complete and closer in verbiage to the original play versions. Lawerence Olivia was force to cut out much of the play because of time constraints and because of the time of the production Henry V could not look like a tyrant and they had to justify the war so it would coincide with the WWII war effort. However Kenneth Branagh, Making his directing debut, pulled out all stops. He may have missed a few lines here and there but replaced them with visuals and innuendos.
This story is based on prior works but can stand alone very well as what history of Henry is needed is mentioned in the play. Henry V was a sort of playboy (probably by cunning design) as a youth and when becoming king has decides to acquire France that is his heritage. In the process he must prove his ability to understand and lead people. One of his first tests is to detect treachery and remove it. The films leave out a lot of the information that make this story complete and interesting.
I must say the kindle version helps you move along with text-to-speak without it you will find you self constantly looking at the dictionary the first time through. The second time through it runs much smoother but people look at you funning when you use terms like puissant. Two thirds of the words came up in the online kindle dictionary; the rest had to rely on other on line dictionaries.
In any event as usual I found many daily quotes had come from this play:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother
If you do not come away with any other wisdom remember if you are traveling through France keep an eye on your luggage.
The play itself was enjoyable. It certainly wasn't my favourite of Shakespeare's works, but as always he was humorous and eloquent and explored interesting ideas. The highlight was definitely King Henry's Crispian's Day speech, which was actually what inspired me to read the play in the first place, but the rest of the play was decent too, though it would have been more enjoyable if I knew how to speak French. (and I believe having read Henry IV first may have helped too)
All up, a good play and a readable edition, but if you're short of time skip this one and just read the Crispian's Day speech.
I felt there was a lot of superfluous material inserted to pad the play's length. Note also that Act 3 Scene 4 is completely in French [editing error?]. Some of the best material is presented in each act's opening prologue.
There are an excessive number of spelling errors in the Kindle version - many of the errors involve the letter 'p' being substituted for the letter 'b' at the beginning of words: bless, bridge, etc.
I obviously want overly enamored with this offering, but it was good to see Shakespeare's literary concept of a tetrad through to its completion.
"All things are ready, if our minds be so."
"this mock of his Hath turn'd his (tennis) balls to gun-stones, and his soul Shall stand sore charged for the wastefull vengeance That shall fly with them"
"His jest will savour but of shallow wit, When thousands weep more than did laugh at it"
Henry IV - part 2, and Henry V.
This play is fantastic and stands above the others. However, I must confess that I skipped scenes that I found uninteresting in the PBS production.
Most high school and college students are familiar with Julius Ceasar, Romeo & Juliet, and Macbeth through classroom assignments or productions on the stage, tv, or in the park. If you liked these plays, read King Henry V.
This version of the play has no introduction, no footnotes, no appendix - it's the play. I read the Kindle version which allowed me to look up unfamiliar words.