Item description for King Henry V (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) by T.W. Craik William Shakespeare...
Distinguished editor T.W. Craik makes an independent and balanced examination of the many textual problems of Henry V, providing many new emendations. "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 Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare Survey, 1997 '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: 8.16" Width: 5.44" Height: 0.99" Weight: 1.08 lbs.
Release Date Mar 16, 1995
ISBN 1904271073 ISBN13 9781904271079
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.