Synopses & Reviews
With his family’s claim to the throne uncertain, Henry seeks to secure his position by turning the country’s attention abroad. But when his outnumbered army is trapped at Agincourt, disaster seems inevitable. Shakespeare probes notions of leadership and power in this iconic depiction of England’s charismatic warrior king.
Under the editorial supervision of Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, two of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, this Modern Library series incorporates definitive texts and authoritative notes from William Shakespeare: Complete Works. Each play includes an Introduction as well as an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career; commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers; scene-by-scene analysis; key facts about the work; a chronology of Shakespeare’s life and times; and black-and-white illustrations.
Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.
A triumphantly patriotic play that also casts a critical eye at war and warriors, this great epic drama depicts a charismatic ruler in a time of national struggle. The young King Henrys victory over the French despite overwhelming odds creates a spectacle of action, color, and thundering battles. Whether the warrior-king is urging his men “Once more unto the breach, dear friends,” or wooing Katharine of France, Henry is magnificently adapted to the role he must play in Englands greatness. Henry V
represents the culmination of Shakespeares art as a writer of historical drama.
Each Edition Includes:
• Comprehensive explanatory notes
• Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship
• Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English
• Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories
• An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography
From the Paperback edition.
"The version of Henry V and the corresponding footnotes that appear in this volume were originally published in 'William Shakespeare: complete works, ' edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, published in 2007 by Modern Library, ... a division of Random House, Inc."--T.p. verso.
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 Kings 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 Chamberlains Men (later under James I, called the Kings Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlains Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeares 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.
From the Paperback edition.