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Henry V by William Shakespeare
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Read during Fall 2001
  amyem58 | Jul 11, 2014 |
I recently attended the Chicago Shakespeare Theater production of Henry V by William Shakespeare. This is one of Shakespeare's more popular plays with brilliant and subtle moments although it falls short of the excellence of the drama in the two parts of Henry IV that preceded it.
Shakespeare based his play upon current historical information about the man who was King of England and France almost two centuries earlier. The play focuses on the events leading up to and including the battle of Agincourt in which the English under Henry decisively defeated the French under the Duke of Burgundy. The result was the marriage of Henry to Katherine, the daughter of Charles VI, the KIng of France.
The play is notable for the inspiring speech of Henry before the final battle that concludes with the famous lines:
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day." (Act IV, Scene iii)

The play notes the death of Falstaff and his absence leaves a hole that the comic relief of Bardolph, Pistol, and Nim cannot completely fill. The production I saw portrayed the battle scenes with an over-the-top level of bombast that nearly blew us out of our seats (we held on dearly for from our vantage in the third level we would have had a long fall to the floor below). The best parts of the play for me, and my friends, were the scenes in the second half of the play. The scene where Henry borrows a cloak and goes among the common soldiers, disguised, the night before the Battle of Agincourt was especially effective. Though Henry, as played by Harry Judge, was impressive in Henry's speeches and as leader of the English nobles. The combination of a good cast and production made this an excellent production to end the season at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. ( )
1 vote jwhenderson | May 29, 2014 |
I hadn't read Shakespeare since school when I decided to give this, one of his historical plays, a chance. At first I struggled to get into it, but then, by using the voices of the characters from the TV show 'A Game of Thrones', I found that I could make it all more dramatic and interesting, and from that point on it was plain sailing. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | May 20, 2014 |
I finished this edition today. This edition has the text on the right side, and the explanation on the left side. I saw this at the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN. They used most of the text, which some the essays have said is unusual. The stage was bare, except for occasional tables and chairs. It was performed in a "wooden O" on stage. I think this fits in with Shakespeare's original productions. The book also had the translations of the French scenes, which definitely helped. I could follow a little bit, but not entirely. When I read the book, I could really understand what Katherine was saying, which made it even more of comic relief. I also couldn't help but think of all the times the English and the French fought over the years, especially here in America, but that now that's gone. There's the Chunnel connecting England and France, and next year's Tour de France will start in England. Amazing how times change. ( )
  jmcgarry2011 | May 9, 2014 |
I liked Shakespeare's "Henry V" a lot.... it has a few great speeches and the action moves along nicely.

The play picks up shortly after Henry V ascends to the throne of England and follows him to France for the Battle of Agincourt. The play skips around from place to place a bit, which might be a bit jarring if not for the chorus smoothing over the rough edges. I understand this was one of Shakepeare's later historical plays -- fit in to cover the period between others -- and it shows as the writing is pretty tight and the story well-paced. ( )
  amerynth | May 8, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (112 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Shakespeareprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shakespeare, Williammain authorall editionsconfirmed
Tonkin, HumphreyTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brissaud, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craik, T. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamar, Virginia A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verity, A. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention!
Quotations
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,

Or close the wall up with our English dead!

In peace there's nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility;

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of the tiger:

Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This entry refers to the actual play. If you wish to enter your DVD of a particular production, please add [DVD] to the title so it can be kept separate. Under no circumstances should a DVD be combined with the play.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743484878, Mass Market Paperback)

Each edition includes:

• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• Scene-by-scene plot summaries

• A key to famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

• An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Michael Neill

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:25 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A team of six eminent scholars who have, along with the general editors themselves, prepared new introductions and notes to all of Shakespeare's plays and poems. Redesigned in an easy-to-read format that preserves the favorite features of the original--and including an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare, and introduction to the individual play, and a note on the text used--the new Pelican Shakespeare will be an excellent resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals well into the twenty-first century.… (more)

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Audible.com

Four editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140707085, 0141013796

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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Recorded Books

Two editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1456100041, 1449889654

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