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King John Paperback – 12 Oct 1967

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Arden Shakespeare; New Ed edition (12 Oct. 1967)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903436095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903436097
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.4 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 719,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

One of Shakespeare's most unpopular history plays, King John deals with the life and death of King John, who reigned from 1199 to 1216. This is as early as Shakespeare goes in his treatment of English history, concentrating more successfully on the later 14th and 15th centuries in the plays which stretch from Richard II to Henry VI. As a result King John suffers from being so historically distant in time, as well as offering a rather weak and vacillating king, who lacks the charisma and authority of Richard III or Henry V. The play begins with King John struggling to retain his throne, under attack from rebellious courtiers and Philip, the king of France. As the quarrel escalates into war with France, the play begins to take on a contemporary Elizabethan flavour--the feared invasion from a foreign (Catholic) nation, and the extent to which such an invasion is based on the questionable paternity of King John (like Queen Elizabeth, John is accused of being a bastard and is excommunicated). The play is saved from its rather colourless political machinations by Philip the Bastard, John's favourite, a dramatic forerunner of dubious but charismatic malcontents like Edmund in King Lear. It is also Philip who is given the most powerful and patriotic lines, when he claims that "This England never did, nor never shall,/Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror". King John's mysterious and anticlimactic death through illness at the end of the play deflates expectations - something that could be said of the play as a whole. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

`The Oxford Shakespeare is an admirably scholarly edition, immaculately presented, offering close attention to possibilities of staging as well as meaning.' Dr D. Sedge, Exeter University

`This edition offers the most substantial & one of the most penetrating discussions of the play to date. A remarkable scholarly achievement.' Dr René J.A. Weis, Department of English, University College, London

`a most impressive and illuminating edition' R. N. Alexander, Queen Mary Westfield, London

`The major strength of Professor Braunmuller's edition is its introduction. He offers a sane review of such difficult questions as the date of the play, and such controversial ones as its relation to "The Troublesome Reign". The evidence is marshalled in a lucid manner and sensible conclusions drawn ... This is a significant contribution to the (now quickly developing) debate on "King John", and a good demonstration that investigations of Shakespeare as a political dramatist (as opposed to a moral sage) need not be critically reductive.' The Review of English Studies

`By its 'conventionally ordered introduction' (p.1), A.R. Braunmuller's Oxford King John signals that it is, indeed what the dustjacket claims, 'the most thorough scholarly edition now available' ... his edition foregrounds technical material important to scholars over more general interests ... Braunmuller's approach to editing is as fair-minded and scholarly as his introduction ... the King John that sets out the issues most fully and fairly, the edition I want in my study, is Braunmuller's 'conventionally ordered', scholarly text.' Virginia Mason Vaughan, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, Yearbook of English Studies, 1992

'Stanley Wells' OUP Complete Works of Shakespeare is now eight years old and has spawned a new Oxford Shakespeare which appears now in splendidly affordable volumes in that nonpareil of libraries of good reading The World's Classics.'The Oxford Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
King John - a little played work by William Shakespeare - is well presented with good notes. Unable to have seen a live production of the play, the only DVD available is from the BBC's collected works so together with this text and comprehensive commentary I have enjoyed this play enormously.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Introductions to volumes of Shakespeare vary hugely in their quality. This, by L A Beaurline, is one of the very best. Wide-ranging, judicious, well-argued, it was a joy to read, sending me off on many trails of happy inspiration. The play itself, of course, is not too bad, either. Most highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
For the avoidance of doubt, since Amazon's listing is not entirely clear, this is the tie-in BBC books edition of the play which was published to accompany the Complete Works series in the 80s. The book contains the text used in the production with production photos in colour and black and white and a long article about the making of the production. It shows a respect for the audience's intelligence
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Without some kind of explanation the book could not be understood by a non-scholar. Most people I would say need notes and explanations when reading Shakespeare. I admit I could have taken a longer look inside.
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Format: Paperback
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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