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King Richard II (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) [Hardcover]

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Item description for King Richard II (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) by Charles R. Forker William Shakespeare...

This richly annotated edition takes a fresh look at the first part of Shakespeare's second tetralogy of history plays, showing how it relates to the other plays in the sequence. Forker places the play in its political context, discussing its relation to competing theories of monarchy, looking at how it faced censorship because of possible comparisons between Richard II and Elizabeth I, and how Bolingbroke's rebellion could be compared to the Essex rising of the time. This edition also reconsiders Shakespeare's use of sources, asking why he chose to emphasise one approach over another. Forker also looks at the play's rich afterlife, and the many interpretations that actors and directors have taken. Finally, the edition looks closely at the aesthetic relationship between language, character, structure and political import.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   528
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 5.4" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 21, 2002
Publisher   Arden
ISBN  190343632X  
ISBN13  9781903436325  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Shakespeare, William > Shakespeare, William
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Shakespeare, William > Hardcover
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Drama > Playwrights, A-Z > ( S ) > Shakespeare, William
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > Shakespeare

Reviews - What do customers think about King Richard II (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)?

Excellent work of the editor  Nov 27, 2007
This is the best edition in the Arden collection I have read until now, by Charles Forker. Very helpful to understand meaning with clear footnotes and a serious introduction in which, for example, you learn about historical and fictional facts in the play, and many other clues.
I agreed with a reviewer of another Arden work who said: "The text itself is full of stumbling, often unhelpful endnotes - what students surely want are explanations of difficult words and figures, not a history of scholarly pedantry. The edition concludes with textual appendices."
It happened to me before but fortunately not in this work, which is excellent. The editor makes the difference. I hope Arden Series follows this line!
One of Shakespeare's great histories in a most helpful and rich edition  Apr 21, 2006
This play is the first of four histories involving the rise of Harry Bolingbroke into King Henry IV (parts I & II) and then his son, Prince Hal, into Henry V. These four plays are always popular with audiences and have many virtues, although they are quite different in affect and theatrical means. This play is full of poetry and carefully composed verse. The two Henry IV plays are blessed the Falstaff's glorious prose and Henry V has its own interesting dualities in Prince Hal finally becoming the King - are his comments sincere or full or irony or is he blind to the irony of his own making? But those are other plays.

As this play begins, the York line is in power as Richard II who came to power as a child. Henry Bolingbroke is the son of the Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt) and is also the Duke of Hereford as the Earl of Derby. Richard shows through his actions and weak decisions (both weak in strength and weak in acumen) that his hold on the throne is open to challenge. When Bolingbroke decides to make the challenge is open to debate, but he picks a fight with Mowbray and both end up banished instead. This causes a tremendous rift with the Duke of Lancaster and when he dies, Richard decides to seize Lancaster's possessions in Ireland instead of letting them pass to Bolingbroke.

Since Bolingbroke is now the new Duke of Lancaster he decides he is no longer the banished Duke of Hereford and returns to England. A number of rumors and challenges lead to Bolingbroke taking power and when Richard returns from Ireland his loss of his kingdom is accomplished without his realizing it. The rest of the play is the fall of Richard and the rise of Henry IV with the attendant strain on the loyalties of the peers.

Shakespeare's genius for verse and the exposition of character is blazingly manifest in this play and that is one of the reasons for its popularity and the walls of books written about this play. Richard's inwardness and self-absorption is quite communicated to us quite differently than Henry's boldness and aggression. The way the peers show their divided loyalties, anger, fear, and duplicity is also wonderfully done.

This Arden edition is from the third series and has some of the features of more modern scholarship. It is also almost exhaustively noted and resourced. The reader of this edition is given more than 150 pages of introductory material on the origins, language, meaning, and performance history of the play and can choose which to read and which to leave for another time. The notes on each page of text include notes to help the reader understand the text, but also notes on the history versus the play and Shakespeare's sources (such as Holinshead). There are longer notes at the back, and a textual analysis in the first appendix, a doubling chart for performance in appendix two, and a genealogical table for the third appendix (very useful). There is also a list of reference works and an index.

I am a huge fan of the Arden editions and enjoy reading the plays with all this helpful material and I strongly recommend this edition of this play.
my opinion  Jul 27, 2005
i'm very grateful,both for the quality and the delivery time.
thank you very much.

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