This is the first stage history of Shakespeare's King Henry V to cover the play's theatrical life since its first performance in 1599. Staging this play has always been a political act, and the substantial introduction traces its theatrical interventions into conflicts from the Napoleonic Wars to Vietnam and the Falklands crisis, offering a complete account of the play's fortunes: from its absence in the seventeenth century to its dominant position as historical spectacle in the Victorian period, through twentieth-century productions, which include the popular films by Olivier and Branagh. Together they raise vital interpretative questions: is Henry V an epic of English nationalism, a knowing and cynical piece of power politics, or an anti-war manifesto? The volume also includes the play text, illustrations and detailed footnotes about major performances.
Equal parts tragedy and history play, Richard III chronicles the rise and short reign of its diabolical title character. Of this masterful creation, esteemed critic Harold Bloom has written, The manipulative, highly self-conscious, obsessed hero-villain moves himself from being the passive sufferer of his own moral and/or physical deformity to becoming a highly active melodramatist. Portrayed as England's curse and as his own worst enemy, the jealous and ambitious Richard would find little glory or peace awaiting him upon his ascension to England's throne. This collection of critical essays about the Bard's Richard III includes classic criticism from a number of notable critics throughout the centuries. Edited by Bloom, this title also features a handy index for quick reference.
Thanks in part to Shakespeare, Henry V is one of England's best-known monarchs. The image of the king leading his army against the French, and the great victory at Agincourt, are part of English historical tradition. Yet, though indeed a soldier of exceptional skill, Henry V's reputation needs to be seen against a broader background of achievement. This sweepingly majestic book is based on the full range of primary sources and sets the reign in its full European context. Christopher Allmand shows that Henry V not only united the country in war but also provided domestic security, solid government, and a much needed sense of national pride. The book includes an updated foreword which takes stock of more recent publications in the field. "A far more rounded picture of Henry as a ruler than any previous study."--G.L. Harris, The Times
"This timeless classic receives the unique and powerful treatment of being presented in a full colour graphic novel format - making it easier to absorb Shakespeare's script and to immerse yourself in the story. Experience the Battle of Agincourt as never before - and fully appreciate this decisive chapter in the history of the realm."--BOOK JACKET.
A new and startling look at Henry V, the heroic English warrior-king of Shakespeare's drama, argues that he was an intolerant bigot who avidly persecuted and burned Protestants, a Machiavellian politician, and a ruler bent on securing his questionable claim to the English throne at any cost. Reprint.
This study examines the profound changes that 20th-century performance has wrought on Shakespeare's complex drama of war and politics. What was accepted at the turn of the century as a patriotic celebration of a national hero has emerged in the modern theater as a dark and troubling analysis of the causes and costs of war. This book details the theatrical innovations and political insights that have turned one of Shakespeare's most tradition-bound plays into one of his most popular and provocative.
The wild and headstrong prince of Shakespeare’s Henry IV blossoms in Henry V into a veritable hero-king: an epic embodiment of military valour, concerned for the welfare of his subjects, and above all, an archetypal man of action. Such a portrayal reflected not only Shakespeare’s Tudor sources but contemporary estimates of King Henry V. To his earliest biographer, a royal chaplain and well-informed insider, he was a model Christian prince, clearly carrying out God’s wishes both at home and abroad; the chronicler Thomas Walsingham, writing in 1422, judged him a pious, prudent, and warlike ruler; and, to the humanist Tito Livio in 1437, he was an energetic, just, and shrewd military commander who, at Agincourt, fought “like an unvanquished lion.” Modern historians have perpetuated the flattery of chroniclers, but should they? Was the real Henry V a national hero, a jingoistic bigot, or neither?