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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 October 2014
After the rebellions (or are they?) of his youth, Prince Hal is now king though the shadow of usurpation still overlies his throne. In a quest to divert internal rebellion, Henry leads the English to France and the victory of Agincourt thus legitimising his rule through both military victory and the 'arm' of god - but does the play ultimately assert the orthodoxy of Tudor propaganda or critique it?

Like the other single Oxford play-texts in this series, the play is prefaced by a long and detailed introduction which explores sources, performance history and receptions. Written by Gary Taylor, one of the leading editors of Shakespeare, it's quite light on critical controversies, particularly the ways in which this might be read as either promoting, contesting or surpassing Tudor 'history'. The on-page glosses are useful and fairly comprehensive, and the text is cleanly laid out.

Regardless, though, of whether we read this as a rousing paean of national identity at a point at which Britain was being constructed (as opposed to England), a war epic, or a more sceptical response to military glory, this remains a more complicated play than is often the case in performance. With the question of who Henry is beneath the royal trappings, and the disconcerting epilogue which speaks forward to the troubled rule of Henry VI, this may be a play which poses more questions than it answers.
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on 13 March 2013
I find The Oxford Shakespeare very pleasing - it has a wealth of notes, laboriously referenced and clear to read. Absolutely pleasurable.
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on 28 October 2015
Just what was required.
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on 6 July 2012
The book is great. But I bought it so that I could read it through before going to see the play at the Globe. Amazon took so long to deliver it with their free delivery that it almost arrived too late to be of use.
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on 17 May 2011
This book arrived promptly and in perfect condition. It was offered at a reduced price and, in addition, there was no charge for the postage making it a very economical purchase.
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on 13 March 2014
Shakespeare is considered to be one of the BEST authors EVER and is also known as The Bard of England. So, when I had to read a few of his works for my Shakespearean Literature course at uni, I thought I was in for a real treat. However, that was not the case when I read Henry V. I just couldn't focus enough for it to capture me (which seldom happens). However, other Shakespearean pieces are favourites of mine. It just wasn't meant to be.

With this review I do not wish to tell you not to read it because what I may not dislike for whatever reason may indeed become a favourite of yours.

Please, give the book a chance!
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