This edition offers a strongly theatrical perspective on the origins of Shakespeare's First Part of King Henry IV and the history of its interpretation.
This edition offers a strongly theatrical perspective on the origins of Shakespeare's First Part of King Henry IV and the history of its interpretation. In their introduction the editors clarify the play's surprising, de-centred dramatic structure, questioning the dominant assumption that the drama focuses on the education of Prince Hal. They call attention to the effects of civil war upon a broad range of relationships. Falstaff's unpredictable vitality is explored, together with important contemporary values of honour, friendship, festivity and reformation. Extensive lexical glosses of obscure, ambiguous or archaic meanings make the rich wordplay accessible. The notes also provide a thorough commentary on Shakespeare's transformation of his sources (particularly Holinshed's Chronicles) and suggest alternative stagings. The stage history features detailed accounts of major productions since 1945.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
1. Introduction: reputation, date, the design
of the play, transforming the sources, the
appeal of Falstaff and the contexts of
interpretation, stage history
2. The play: text, commentary, collation
3. Textual analysis
4. Appendix: Shakespeare and Holinshed
4. Reading list.