Item description for King Henry V (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) by T.W. Craik William Shakespeare...
T. W. Craik is Emeritus Professor of English in the University of Durham in the UK. He is the author of The Tudor Interlude and The Comic Tales of Chaucer, and has edited plays by Marlowe and Massinger for the New Mermaids Series, a selection of Elizabethan tragedies for Everyman's Library, Beaumont and Fletcher's Maid's Tragedy for the Revels Plays, and The Merry Wives of Windsor for the Oxford Shakespeare. He was joint editor of Twelfth Night in the second series of the Arden Shakespeare.
Distinguished editor T.W. Craik makes an independent and balanced examination of the many textual problems of Henry V, providing many new emendations. He begins his illustrated introduction with a commentary on the date and sources of the play, before taking up the problem of the Quarto and Folio texts; in Craik's view, the Quarto texts are evolving and incomplete versions of the play, with the First Folio best representing what was written by Shakespeare himself and performed to the public. Following his own substantial critical analysis King Henry V, the editor surveys other critical approaches to the play and lays out its performance history. Preceding the play itself is an explanation of Craik's text, with more analysis of the Quarto and Folio versions shedding light on the arduous process of compiling an edition of Shakespeare. Five appendices follow the play: The First Quarto of 1600, a map of France and the south of England, a map of the route of Henry V's army from 13 August to 17 November 1415, a genealogical table, and a doubling chart. The edition also includes a list of abbreviations used for reference.
The Arden Shakespeare has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play's foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.
"Craik's commentary is particularly ample and detailed, with careful attention to the play's language, textual problems, the interpretation of stage directions, and Shakespeare's handling of source materials . . . he builds up a distinct though traditionalist reading which, critically sympathetic and undogmatic, finds the play at once simple and subtle."—John Jowett, Shakespeare Survey
"With the exceptionally thorough Arden notes, and the extensive editorial coverage, including recent stage history, this Henry V is the one to have."—Times Higher Education Supplement
"Craik's commentary is exemplary in its thorough treatment of critical concerns, glossaries and explanations, theatrical matters, and source material."—Barry Gaines, University of New Mexico, Shakespeare Quarterly
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5" Height: 8" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Mar 16, 1995
ISBN 1904271081 ISBN13 9781904271086
Reviews - What do customers think about King Henry V (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)?
A popular play in an edition fabulously rich in help Aug 14, 2005
This play is best known for the St. Crispian's Day "Band of Brothers" speech given by King Henry just before the battle at Agincourt. It is a powerful speech that rallies people at all times and in every place. Sir Lawrence Olivier made a film version in 1944 during WWII and Kenneth Branagh made another as recently as 1989. You can count on there being more versions. Epecially so when computers can help them make spectacular battle scenes (that aren't really in the play) with less expense.
Audiences love this play and they should. There is a lot to like and enjoy. I think upon repeated readings Henry becomes a more equivocal character than he seems at first. And readers of the King Henry IV plays will know him before he became King Henry and know something deeper about his personality.
And of course there is the whole bit about the drive to France being sponsored by the Church to avoid confiscation of property by the Crown. Moreover, there is the slaughtering of the French prisoners, and his treatment of Falstaff (who dies offstage in this play). This isn't revisionist stuff, it is right there in the play, but it is easy to miss the first time you are trying to take in the play.
In any case, this Arden edition is the one to buy and read from. Why? Because it has the most authoritative text, but that is only the beginning. It also shows variants between the early sources. The notes at the bottom of each page of the play are simply fabulous. The editor includes not only helpful notes explaining what might be obscure in the text of the play, he provides sources Shakespeare probably used such as Holinshed and makes for some very interesting study. There are also some helpful notes on how various scenes have been performed over time.
And to make this sound more like an infomercial, you get more! The introduction provides great background material on the play, its sources, and how it has been performed throughout history. After the play, there is a photo reproduction of the first Quarto from 1600 and it is fairly readable. There are also a couple of maps showing the path of the English Army from Harfleur through other towns on its way to Calais and makes clear how they had to pass through Agincourt.
There is also a helpful genealogical table so you can see the confusing claims used by Henry and the French nobility to make their claims. And there is a doubling chart so you can see how theater companies can perform all the roles with fewer actors.
This is a great edition as are all the plays published by the Arden Shakespeare. The amount of work collected in these volumes is stunning and they will enrich your experience of the plays tremendously. I can't recommend them enough.