Henry IV, Part 2
This book again pits a rebellion within the State and that master of misrule, Falstaff, against the maturing of Prince Hal. Alternating scenes between bawdy tavern and regal court, between revelry and politics, Shakespeare probes at the sources, uses, and responsibilities of power as an old king dies and a young king must choose between a ruler's solemn duty and a merry but dissipated friend, Falstaff. The play represents Shakespeare at the peak of his maturity in writing historical drama and comedy. This edition offers a fully modernized text of one of Shakespeare's most fascinating plays. Henry IV, Part 2 is the only play in the canon whose structure almost exactly mirrors that of its predecessor, and thereby affords unique perspectives on Shakespeare's art and craft. Far from being the impoverished country cousin of an illustrious work, Part 2 introduces unforgettable new characters like Pistol and Shallow, and memorable minor players such as Doll Tearsheet and the reluctant Goucestershire recruits. Above all, it gives us more Falstaff. Although he is now politically distanced from Hal, he looms larger than ever as a mischievous figure who never ceases to fascinate with his unique blend of native wit, inventiveness, and corruption. Through a radical reconsideration of the play's text(s) and date, it is argued here for the first time that the character of Falstaff was called Oldcastle in Part 2 as well as in Part 1, and that it was the vetting of Part 2 for the 1596-7 Christmas performances at Court which led to the change of name in both plays. This edition moreover takes the view that the Folio-only passages in the play reflect the text of the original prompt-book.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
appear Archbishop Bardolph bear become better brother called character comes copy crown Davy dead death Dent direction Doll Doll TEARSHEET doth drink Earl edition Elizabethan Enter Exeunt Exit fact Falstaff Famous father fear Folio follow give hand Harry Hastings hath head Henry IV Henry IV plays Holinshed Hotspur Humphreys Introduction John KING HENRY lines London look Lord Bardolph Lord Chief Justice Master meaning Merry MISTRESS QUICKLY Mowbray never night Northumberland notes Oldcastle original Oxford Page peace performance perhaps phrase Pistol play Poins political PRINCE HENRY Prince John printed probably prose quarto reading reference Richard royal scene seems Shake Shakespeare Shallow Silence Sir John speak stage suggests tell Theatre thee thou thought tion WARWICK Westmorland York