Henry V (Folger Shakespeare Library)
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Henry V is Shakespeare’s most famous “war play”; it includes the storied English victory over the French at Agincourt. Some of it glorifies war, especially the choruses and Henry’s speeches urging his troops into battle. But we also hear bishops conniving for war to postpone a bill that would tax the church, and soldiers expecting to reap profits from the conflict. Even in the speeches of Henry and his nobles, there are many chilling references to the human cost of war.
The authoritative edition of Henry V from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:
-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An annotated guide to further reading
Essay by Michael Neill
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doubt, and resentment are ... what Henry V is about. (Michael Feingold, Village Voice) The absence of glamorous theatrical pageantry was not to the taste of many reviewers, few pronouncing the production a success. During the same years in Britain, two Henries gained comparable attention. At Stratford, a production by Adrian Noble brought a realistic downpour of rain to bedraggle the British troops in France—the greatest visual effect of the evening. Kenneth Branagh, aged twenty-three, was
Shakespeare’s art. . Shakespeare: The Later Years (1992). Schoenbaum, S. Shakespeare’s Lives (1970). A review of the evidence and an examination of many biographies, including those of Baconians and other heretics. _________. William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life (1977). An abbreviated version, in a smaller format, of the next title. The compact version reproduces some fifty documents in reduced form. A readable presentation of all that the documents tell us about Shakespeare.
the speech is given to Edgar. The Quarto version is in accord with tradition—usually the highest-ranking character in a tragedy speaks the final words. Why does the Folio give the speech to Edgar? One possible answer is this: The Folio version omits some of Albany’s speeches in earlier scenes, so perhaps it was decided (by Shakespeare? by the players?) not to give the final lines to so pale a character. In fact, the discrepancies are so many between the two texts, that some scholars argue we do
were saved. When this lamentable slaughter was ended, the Englishmen disposed themselves in order of battle, ready to abide a new field and also to invade and newly set on their enemies. (A fresh onset.) With great force they assailed the Earls of Marle and Faulconbridge, and the Lords of Louvail and of Thine, with six hundred men of arms, who had all that day kept together, but now slain and beaten down out of hand. (A right wise and valiant challenge of the King.) Some write, that the King
disorder of history Shakespeare assumed some kind of order or degree on earth having its counterpart in heaven. Further, ... in so assuming he was using the thought-idiom of his age and could have avoided doing so only by not thinking at all. (Tillyard, Shakespeare’s History Plays, 1944(1962) p. 21) The objections are familiar enough: the “Elizabethan World Picture” simplifies the Elizabethans and, still more, Shakespeare. Yet if we look again at what Tillyard was opposing, his historicism