Item description for King Henry IV Part 1 (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) by David Scott Kastan William Shakespeare...
David Scott Kastan lucidly explores the remarkable richness and the ambitious design of King Henry IV Part 1 and shows how these complicate any easy sense of what kind of play it is. Conventionally regarded as a history play, much of it is in fact conspicuously invented fiction, and Kastan argues that the non-historical, comic plot does not simply parody the historical action but by its existence raises questions about the very nature of history. The full and engaging introduction devotes extensive discussion to the play's language, indicating how its insistent economic vocabulary provides texture for the social concerns of the play and focuses attention on the central relationship between value and political authority.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.98" Weight: 1.22 lbs.
Release Date Nov 7, 2002
ISBN 1904271340 ISBN13 9781904271345
Availability 117 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 04:45.
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Reviews - What do customers think about King Henry IV Part 1 (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)?
Excellent version of a great play Sep 2, 2007
The play needs no commentary by me. This edition is impressive. This is the first Arden Third Series play I've read, and I find it better overall than any other commented version I've used. I bought the Arden Second Series of Henry IV, Part 2, because we're going to both plays this weekend, and the Third Series is not out yet. I was surprised how much better the Third Series is. The typography and layout make it easier to read than any other footnoted edition I've read. The notes are on the same page as the text, where they are easy to refer to, but they are in a smaller font size and in two columns, which differentiates them from the text and makes them less distracting. The headings of the notes are bold, rather than italic, which makes them quicker to locate. The text notes, of interest only to specialists, are in an even smaller font and have been moved to the bottom of the page. The result is that the extensive notes are readily accessible when I need them, yet minimally distracting when I don't.
The Introduction is long, but interesting and helpful. Being no expert, I don't judge this editor's views and choices against those of others, but his reasoning is plausible and his approach seems down-to-earth, giving what seems like appropriate weight to the commercial motives and dynamic nature of dramas.
The notes explain more than some readers need, but that's better than explaining too little for newcomers to Shakespeare.
The illustrations are interesting, and some are helpful. The map of places mentioned and the genealogies should be in every edition. The List of Roles is followed by two pages of notes about the characters. This is very helpful in keeping track of the characters, which is much harder to do when reading than when watching actors play the roles.
A cavil: I like the old-fashioned way of dealing with words ending in -ed, showing in the text when the e is stressed or elided. In this version, "unfamiliar typographic conventions have been avoided in order to minimize obstacles to the reader," and pronunciations are shown in the notes if they differ from modern usage. For me, this is more awkward than the old way, with the -'d or -èd right in the text.
The making of a king (sort of) Aug 16, 2006
Following the plot of "Richard II", this play finds the usurper Bolingbroke, now King Henry IV, surrounded by enemies. In the beginning, Henry IV has a facedown with his former allies, Northumberland, Worcester and Hotspurs. They even regret having helped Bolingbroke to the throne. So, instead of going ahead with the king's plans for a new Crusade in the Middle East, Henry and his remaining allies have to face civil war. Due to the illegal way in which he acquired the crown, Henry feels insecure in the throne. Moreover, he has an other poignant source of worries: his eldest son and heir, Prince Hal, is not exactly a model of a young man. Instead of showing an interest in State affairs, he spends his time with a band of friends, led by the ineffable and immensely comic Sir John Falstaff. These rogues drink and womanize too much, but that wouldn't be much of a problem if they didn't assault travellers and commit other sort of criminal activities. King Henry IV scolds Hal for this behavior just when they have a war going on. Hal decides to mend his ways and join his father. Meanwhile, Falstaff is in charge of getting new recruits, but the quality of the latter suffers much when the fat rogue takes bribes from the best in order to escape service. Finally, Henry's party achieves an important (though not definitive) victory and Hal gains his father's respect, among other things, by saving him from a wound. But as they say, stay tuned, for this story continues in the second part.
Note that the major character in this and the next play is Falstaff himself, a man of undoubtedly bad behavior, but impossible not to like. Falstaff incarnates the Dyonisiac impulse, the joys of the flesh, and a free spirit devoid of any lust for power or glory. While the warrior Hotspur uplifts death and glory, Falstaff asks for more life. For his part, Hal has discovered the adrenaline of war and power and his character is about to change.
the best Oct 31, 2003
Ardens are the best editions; this is the best of the new generation of Ardens--and it is a great play.
a wonderful edition Oct 10, 2003
If you want a scholarly edition of the play, this is the one: the introduction is an extended and brilliant essay on the play; the text is clearly presented, and the commentary full and useful; and the book itself is attractive and easy to use. It is perfect for teachers, grad. students, advanced undergraduates, and actors and directors involved with the play.
about time! Sep 13, 2003
Arden's are always wonderful but the Henry IV was almost 50 years old--at last there is a new edition and it was actually worth the wait! This is one of the best editions of any Shakespeare play I have ever seen. A must for any high school or college library. A must for any lover of Shakespeare.