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Mass Market Paperback Henry IV, Part 1 Book

ISBN: 0743485041

ISBN13: 9780743485043

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This edition of Henry IV Part 1 is especially designed for students, with accessible on-page notes and explanatory illustrations, clear background information, and rigorous but accessible scholarly... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Breadth and depth

In this Arkangel procuction of 'Henry IV Part One', Richard Griffiths makes a pretty good Falstaff (sounding a bit like Leo McKern), though a bit too placid-drunk, not quite enough fire in his vast belly. Hal, played by Jamie Glover (the real life son to his father in the play, Henry IV as played by Julian Glover), initially comes across as foppish, but in the early scene where he compares himself to the sun allowing himself to be covered by clouds, reveals he can handle the complexity of the character. Hal, indeed, is one of the strangest creations in literature - a coal-biter (a ne'er-do-well who later makes good), but a DELIBERATE one. He knows from the outset what he is doing. Alan Cox is an excellent Hotspur, full of aggressive vitality. I doubt I could ever listen to another production of this play without mentally hearing Hotspur's lines the way Cox delivers them. His "O Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth" is especially poignant. The argument between Hotspur and the Welsh warrior-poet Owen Glendower ("I say the earth did shake when I was born") is one of Shakespeare's most brilliant passages, and here it is handled well. The too-impatient Hotspur can't abide exaggeration of any kind - "mincing poetry", he calls it. The Welsh song sung by Glendower's daughter is completely enchanting - and as I may have mentioned in other Arkangel reviews, the music is one of the best reasons to hear these productions. As with Arkangel's 'Richard II', 'Henry IV Part One' has an excellent score.

Hard not to love Shakespeare after listening to this

These ArkAngel Audio CDs really convey the vibrance of Shakespeare's world complete with bawdy screams, clinking glasses in taverns, birds chirping in the forest, etc. It's "Shakespeare for people who hate Shakespeare" in the sense that when you listen to these CDs the meanings of lines and the essence of the play comes across easily by virtue of the inflections in the voices and the circumstances. Shakespeare is so often mistaught in schools, "overcooked," as it were, in that the endless stream of complexities in individual lines are overanalyzed to death before anyone has developed an overall sense of what's going on in the play. These CDs will give you that sense and much more. The guy who plays Falstaff had me laughing out loud. Also, using a CD like this is not "cheating" -- just the opposite, it is the *right* way to approach Shakespeare because these are plays! They are meant, first and foremost, to be performed, not read. For students I would recommend listening *first* to get an overall sense, then going back and reading, then listening again. Reading will be much more productive and fun, I imagine.

The two sides of Hal

Henry IV remains one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, even though the tragedies and comedies get far more attention and seeming appreciation than do the histories. As an English major, I examined Henry's (Hal's) character, and I focused on his development from a somewhat foolhardy young man into a self-assured, even manipulative prince. It is hard to say which of these Hal truly is, or if he is a little bit of both. At the beginning of the play, Hal spends his free time cavorting around with his friend Falstaff (who provides all of the laughs in the play and is cited as one of the best comic characters in all literature). In the first act we already see hints in Hal's sololiquy that he may not be as carefree as we are led to believe, and that he might betray friends like Falstaff to be the prince that he is expected to be. Read on in "Henry V" to see just how much of a polished politician Hal becomes--his battle cries and his "once more unto the breech, dear friends" is masterful in its persuasiveness and ability to induce his countrymen to fight. Hotspur serves as a nice counterpoint to Hal in "Henry IV." Hotspur is the hothead and Hal makes his decisions calmly and rationally. This almost inhuman rationality comes into play again in "Henry V" and makes you long for the seemingly carefree Hal. All in all, "Henry IV" is a great read and quite an interesting character study--I highly recommend it!

at last!

This is the best edition of 1 Henry IV on the market today; and probably the most impressive of the new Arden series. The intro is energetically written and always interesting; the glosses are lucid and helpful; the text beautifully presented. This is the wonderful Arden Shakespeare at its very best!

"Henry IV, Part 1":

When rating Shakespeare, I am comparing it to other Shakespeare. Otherwise, the consistent "5 stars" wouldn't tell you much. So when I rate this book five stars, I'm saying it's one of the best of the best.As a matter of fact, it isn't unusual for Shakespeare's "histories" to be more interesting to the modern reader than either his comedies or his tragedies; they fit the modern style that doesn't insist that comedies must have everything work out well in the end, or that tragedies must be deadly serious with everyone dying at the end, as was the convention in Shakespeare's time. Thus, this book has a serious plot, real drama, and blood and destruction, yet still has many extremely funny scenes. And as Shakespearean plays go, it's a fairly easy read, although in places the footnotes are still neccessary. The only caveat I will make is that one needs to remember not to consider Shakespeare's histories particularly historical; they have about as much historical accuracy as the Disney version of Pocahontas. Treat them as excellent stories based (very) loosely on history, and you'll do fine.It's a real shame that the language has changed so much since Shakespeare was writing that his plays are no longer accessable to the masses, because that's who Shakespeare was writing for. Granted, there is enough seriousness to satisfy the intelligensia, but there is generally enough action and bawdy humor to satisfy any connouiseur of modern hit movies, if only they could understand it, and this book is no exception. Unfortunately, once you change the language, it's no longer Shakespeare, until and unless the rewriter can be found who has as much genius for the modern language as Shakespeare had for his own. I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting.
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