- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: OUP Oxford (12 Jun. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199536511
- ISBN-13: 978-0199536511
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2.3 x 12.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Henry V: The Oxford Shakespeare (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 12 Jun 2008
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Henry V, the climax of Shakespeare's sequence of English history plays, is an inspiring, often comic celebration of a young warrior-king. But it is also a study of the costly exhilarations of war, and of the penalties as well as the glories of human greatness. Introducing this brilliantly innovative edition, Gary Taylor shows how Shakespeare shaped his historical material, examines controversial critical interpretations, discusses the play's fluctuating fortunes in performance, and analyses the range and variety of Shakespeare's characterization. The first Folio text is radically rethought, making original use of the First Quarto (1600).
From the Back Cover
Henry V, the climax of Shakespeare's sequence of English history plays, is an inspiring, often comic celebration of a young warrior-king. But it is also a study of the costly exhilarations of war, and of the penalties as well as the glories of human greatness.See all Product description
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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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