Hamlet

      William Shakespeare
Hamlet

One of the greatest plays of all time, the compelling tragedy of the tormented young prince of Denmark continues to capture the imaginations of modern audiences worldwide. Confronted with evidence that his uncle murdered his father, and with his mother’s infidelity, Hamlet must find a means of reconciling his longing for oblivion with his duty as avenger. The ghost, Hamlet’s feigned madness, Ophelia’s death and burial, the play within a play, the “closet scene” in which Hamlet accuses his mother of complicity in murder, and breathtaking swordplay are just some of the elements that make **Hamlet** an enduring masterpiece of the theater. Each Edition Includes: • Comprehensive explanatory notes • Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship • Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English • Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories • An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography
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    Macbeth

      William Shakespeare
Macbeth

Macbeth is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, and is considered one of his darkest and most powerful works. Set in Scotland, the play dramatizes the corrosive psychological and political effects produced when evil is chosen as a way to fulfil the ambition for power. The play is believed to have been written between 1599 and 1606, and is most commonly dated 1606. The earliest account of a performance of what was probably Shakespeare's play is the Summer of 1606, when Simon Forman recorded seeing such a play at the Globe Theatre. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book. It was most likely written during the reign of James I, who had been James VI of Scotland before he succeeded to the English throne in 1603. James was a patron of Shakespeare's acting company, and of all the plays Shakespeare wrote during James's reign, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with the sovereign. Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, and tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death. Shakespeare's source for the tragedy is the account of Macbeth, King of Scotland, Macduff, and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, although the events in the play differ extensively from the history of the real Macbeth. In recent scholarship, the events of the tragedy are usually associated more closely with the execution of Henry Garnett for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, and will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "the Scottish play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It has been adapted to film, television, opera, novels, comic books, and other media. **
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    Richard II (Folger Shakespeare Library)

      William Shakespeare
Richard II (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Shakespeare’s *Richard II* presents a momentous struggle between Richard II and his cousin Henry Bolingbroke. Richard is the legitimate king; he succeeded his grandfather, King Edward III, after the earlier death of his father Edward, the Black Prince. Yet Richard is also seen by many as a tyrant. He toys with his subjects, exiling Bolingbroke for six years. When he seizes the title and property that should be Bolingbroke’s, Richard threatens the very structure of the kingdom. Bolingbroke returns with an army that is supported by nobles and commoners alike, both believing themselves oppressed by Richard. This sets the stage for a confrontation between his army and the tradition of sacred kingship supporting the isolated but now more sympathetic Richard. The authoritative edition of *Richard II* from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, 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 the play’s famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading Essay by Harry Berger, Jr. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, 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 Folger.edu. **
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    The Taming of the Shrew

      William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew

A robust and bawdy battle of the sexes, this ever popular comedy captivates audiences with outrageous humor as Katharina, the shrew, engages in a contest of wills–and love–with her bridegroom, Petruchio. Their boisterous conflict is set off against a more conventional romantic plot involving the wooing of Katharina’s lovely and compliant sister, Bianca. Rich with the psychological themes of identity and transformation, the play is quintessentially lighthearted, filled with visual gags, witty repartee, and unmatched theatrical brilliance from Petruchio’s demand, “Kiss me, Kate!” to the final spectacle of the wedding feast. Each Edition Includes: • Comprehensive explanatory notes • Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship • Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English • Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories • An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography
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    King Lear (Folger Shakespeare Library)

      William Shakespeare
King Lear (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Shakespeare’s *King Lear* challenges us with the magnitude, intensity, and sheer duration of the pain that it represents. Its figures harden their hearts, engage in violence, or try to alleviate the suffering of others. Lear himself rages until his sanity cracks. What, then, keeps bringing us back to *King Lear*? For all the force of its language, *King Lear* is almost equally powerful when translated, suggesting that it is the story, in large part, that draws us to the play. The play tells us about families struggling between greed and cruelty, on the one hand, and support and consolation, on the other. Emotions are extreme, magnified to gigantic proportions. We also see old age portrayed in all its vulnerability, pride, and, perhaps, wisdom—one reason this most devastating of Shakespeare’s tragedies is also perhaps his most moving. The authoritative edition of *King Lear* from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, 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 the play’s famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading Essay by Susan Snyder The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, 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 Folger.edu. **
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    The Comedy of Errors

      William Shakespeare
The Comedy of Errors

AEGEON. Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall, And by the doom of death end woes and all. DUKE. Merchant of Syracuse, plead no more; I am not partial to infringe our laws. The enmity and discord which of late Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen, Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives, Have seal'd his rigorous statutes with their bloods, Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks. For, since the mortal and intestine jars 'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us, It hath in solemn synods been decreed, Both by the Syracusians and ourselves, To admit no traffic to our adverse towns; Nay, more: if any born at Ephesus Be seen at any Syracusian marts and fairs; Again, if any Syracusian born Come to the bay of Ephesus-he dies, His goods confiscate to the Duke's dispose, Unless a thousand marks be levied, To quit the penalty and to ransom him. Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, Cannot amount unto a hundred marks; Therefore by law thou art condemn'd to die.
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    Twelfth Night

      William Shakespeare
Twelfth Night

One of the best-loved comedies ever written, Twelfth Night is perhaps Shakespeare's most lyrical as well as most experimental play. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by M. M. Mahood with an introduction by Michael Dobson. 'If music be the food of love, play on...' Separated from her twin brother Sebastian after a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy to serve the Duke of Illyria. Wooing a countess on his behalf, she is stunned to find herself the object of his beloved's affections. With the arrival of Viola's brother, and a trick played upon the countess's steward, confusion reigns in this romantic comedy of mistaken identity. This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Twelfth Night, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary. William Shakespeare was born some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and died in 1616. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Michael Dobson is Director of the Shakespeare Institute and Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham. 'Unrequited love, melancholy, cruelty and joy held together in perfect balance' - Nicholas Hytner **
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    As You Like It (Folger Shakespeare Library)

      William Shakespeare
As You Like It (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Readers and audiences have long greeted *As You Like It* with delight. Its characters are brilliant conversationalists, including the princesses Rosalind and Celia and their Fool, Touchstone. Soon after Rosalind and Orlando meet and fall in love, the princesses and Touchstone go into exile in the Forest of Arden, where they find new conversational partners. Duke Frederick, younger brother to Duke Senior, has overthrown his brother and forced him to live homeless in the forest with his courtiers, including the cynical Jaques. Orlando, whose older brother Oliver plotted his death, has fled there, too. Recent scholars have also grounded the play in the issues of its time. These include primogeniture, passing property from a father to his oldest son. *As You Like It* depicts intense conflict between brothers, exposing the human suffering that primogeniture entails. Another perspective concerns cross-dressing. Most of Orlando’s courtship of Rosalind takes place while Rosalind is disguised as a man, “Ganymede.” At her urging, Orlando pretends that Ganymede is his beloved Rosalind. But as the epilogue reveals, the sixteenth-century actor playing Rosalind was male, following the practice of the time. In other words, a boy played a girl playing a boy pretending to be a girl. The authoritative edition of *As You Like It* from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, 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 the play’s famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading Essay by Susan Snyder The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, 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 Folger.edu. **
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    Henry V

      William Shakespeare
Henry V

A triumphantly patriotic play that also casts a critical eye at war and warriors, this great epic drama depicts a charismatic ruler in a time of national struggle. The young King Henry’s victory over the French despite overwhelming odds creates a spectacle of action, color, and thundering battles. Whether the warrior-king is urging his men “Once more unto the breach, dear friends,” or wooing Katharine of France, Henry is magnificently adapted to the role he must play in England’s greatness. **Henry V** represents the culmination of Shakespeare’s art as a writer of historical drama. Each Edition Includes: • Comprehensive explanatory notes • Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship • Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English • Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories • An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography
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    The Winter's Tale

      William Shakespeare
The Winter's Tale

One of the last plays Shakespeare penned on his own, **The Winter’s Tale **is a transcendent work of death and rebirth, exploring irrational sexual jealousy, the redemptive world of nature, and the magical power of art. Under the editorial supervision of Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, two of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, this Modern Library series incorporates definitive texts and authoritative notes from **William Shakespeare: Complete Works**. Each play includes an Introduction as well as an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career; commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers; scene-by-scene analysis; key facts about the work; a chronology of Shakespeare’s life and times; and black-and-white illustrations. Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.
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    The Merchant of Venice (Dover Thrift Editions)

      William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice (Dover Thrift Editions)

The Merchant of Venice is an intriguing drama of love, greed, and revenge. At its heart, the play contrasts the characters of the maddened and vengeful Shylock, a Venetian moneylender, with the gracious, level-headed Portia, a wealthy young woman besieged by suitors. At the play's climax, Shylock insists on the enforcement of a binding contract that will cost the life of the merchant Antonio — inciting Portia to mount a memorable defense. In this richly plotted drama, Shylock, whom Shakespeare endowed with all of the depth and vitality of his greatest characters, is not alone in his villainy. In scene after scene, a large cast of ambitious and scheming characters demonstrates that honesty is a quality often strained where matters of love and money are concerned. The gravity and suspense of the play's central plot, together with its romance, have made *The Merchant of Venice* a favorite of audiences, and one of the most studied and performed of Shakespeare's plays. It is reprinted here from an authoritative text, complete with explanatory footnotes. **
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    Measure for Measure

      William Shakespeare
Measure for Measure

Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of this powerful play that explores sexual hypocrisy and questions morality at all levels of society. This volume also includes more than a hundred pages of exclusive features, including: • an original Introduction to Measure for Measure • incisive scene-by-scene synopsis and analysis with vital facts about the work • commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers • photographs of key RSC productions • an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career and chronology of his plays Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.
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    A Midsummer Night's Dream

      William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Magic, love spells, and an enchanted wood provide the materials for one of Shakespeare’s most delightful comedies. When four young lovers, fleeing the Athenian law and their own mismatched rivalries, take to the forest of Athens, their lives become entangled with a feud between the King and Queen of the Fairies. Some Athenian tradesmen, rehearsing a play for the forthcoming wedding of Duke Theseus and his bride, Hippolyta, unintentionally add to the hilarity. The result is a marvelous mix-up of desire and enchantment, merriment and farce, all touched by Shakespeare’s inimitable vision of the intriguing relationship between art and life, dreams and the waking world. Each Edition Includes: • Comprehensive explanatory notes • Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship • Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English • Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories • An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography
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    The Two Gentlemen of Verona

      William Shakespeare
The Two Gentlemen of Verona

** *“They do not love that do not show their love.”* ** **—Two Gentlemen of Verona** ** * * ** Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of the classic comedy of courtship and delicious rivalry. **THIS VOLUME ALSO INCLUDES MORE THAN A HUNDRED PAGES OF EXCLUSIVE FEATURES:** • an original Introduction to *Two Gentlemen of Verona* • incisive scene-by-scene synopsis and analysis with vital facts about the work • commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers • photographs of key RSC productions • an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career and chronology of his plays Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.
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    Much Ado About Nothing (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)

      William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)

*Much Ado About Nothing* boasts one of Shakespeare's most delightful heroines, most dancing wordplay, and the endearing spectacle of intellectual and social self-importance bested by the desire to love and be loved in return. It offers both the dancing wit of the "merry war" between the sexes, and a sobering vision of the costs of that combat for both men and women. Shakespeare dramatizes a social world in all of its vibrant particulars, in which characters are shaped by the relations between social convention and individual choice. This edition of the play offers in its introduction and commentary an extensive discussion of the materials that informed Shakespeare's compositional choices, both those conventional sources and other contexts, from cuckold jokes to conduct books, which inform the ideas and identities of this play. Particular attention is devoted to Renaissance understandings of gender identity and social rank, as well as to the social valences of Shakespeare's stylistic choices. Among the elements of structure and style discussed are the two concurrent plots, the recurrence of verbal handshakes, and the use of music.  A treatment of staging possibilities offers illustrations drawn from the earliest and recent theatrical practices, and a critical history examines the fate of the play in the changing trends of academic scholarship. A casting chart and a list of abbreviations and references are includes as appendices.  **The Arden Shakespeare** has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play’s foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader. **
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    Othello

      William Shakespeare
Othello

In *Othello*, Shakespeare creates powerful drama from a marriage between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona that begins with elopement and mutual devotion and ends with jealous rage and death. Shakespeare builds many differences into his hero and heroine, including race, age, and cultural background. Yet most readers and audiences believe the couple’s strong love would overcome these differences were it not for Iago, who sets out to destroy Othello. Iago’s false insinuations about Desdemona’s infidelity draw Othello into his schemes, and Desdemona is subjected to Othello’s horrifying verbal and physical assaults. The authoritative edition of *Othello* from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, 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 the play’s famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading Essay by Susan Snyder The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, 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 Folger.edu. **
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    All's Well That Ends Well

      William Shakespeare
All's Well That Ends Well

** *“A young man married is a man that’s marr’d.”* ** **—All’s Well That Ends Well** ** ** Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of this classic play about gender, desire, and sexual love. **THIS VOLUME ALSO INCLUDES MORE THAN A HUNDRED PAGES OF EXCLUSIVE FEATURES:** • an original Introduction to *All’s Well That Ends Well* • incisive scene-by-scene synopsis and analysis with vital facts about the work • commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers • photographs of key RSC productions • an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career and chronology of his plays Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.
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    Henry IV, Part 1 (Folger Shakespeare Library)

      William Shakespeare
Henry IV, Part 1 (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Family relationships are at the center of *Henry IV, Part 1*. King Henry IV and Prince Hal form one major father-son pair, with Henry in despair because Hal lives a dissolute life. The father-son pair of Hotspur (Lord Henry Percy) and his father, the Earl of Northumberland, is in seeming contrast; the king envies Northumberland “his Harry,” wishing he could claim the gallant Hotspur as his own. Meanwhile, Hal has entered into a quasi-father-son relationship with a disreputable but amusing knight, Sir John Falstaff. Another strand of action centers on still more family relationships. Hotspur’s stand against Henry focuses on Hotspur’s brother-in-law, Mortimer. Mortimer, who fought against the Welsh magician Owen Glendower, was defeated and captured and has married Glendower’s daughter. King Henry pronounces Mortimer a traitor whom he will not ransom. Hotspur, in declaring war on Henry, sees himself as fighting for Mortimer, his wife’s brother. The authoritative edition of *Henry IV, Part 1* from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, 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 the play’s famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading Essay by Alexander Leggatt The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, 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 Folger.edu. **
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    Antony and Cleopatra (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)

      William Shakespeare
Antony and Cleopatra (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)

John Wilders - literary advisor to the BBC TV Shakespeare series - brings thorough scholarship and a practical understanding of performance needs to this new edition. Clarity, accessibility and rigour are the hallmarks of an edition which will provide invaluable guidance for all its readers. "This edition has a very helpful introduction and good clear text, as well as the exceptionally excellent and detailed notes." Dr Michael Herbert, St Andrews University ''a useful treatment of a complex play'Barry Gaines, University of New Mexico, Shakespeare Quarterly **
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    The Oxford Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part 2 (Oxford World's Classics)

      William Shakespeare
The Oxford Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part 2 (Oxford World's Classics)

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 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. **
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