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The Life of Henry V

The Life of Henry V

Book - 2004
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Henry V is Shakespeare's most famous "war play"; it includes the storied English victory over the French at Agincourt. Some of it glorifies war, especially the choruses and Henry's speeches urging his troops into battle. But we also hear bishops conniving for war to postpone a bill that would tax the church, and soldiers expecting to reap profits from the conflict. Even in the speeches of Henry and his nobles, there are many chilling references to the human cost of war.

The authoritative edition of Henry V 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 Michael Neill

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
Publisher: New York : Washington Square Press, 2004
Edition: Washington Square Press New Folger ed
ISBN: 9780743484879
Call Number: 822.33 Q1m 2004
Characteristics: lviii, 294 p. : ill., geneal. table ; 18 cm


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Apr 14, 2021

Henry V is the culmination of Prince Hal’s (now King Henry V) journey to becoming a leader. This play is another of Shakespeare’s history plays, exploring themes of moral agency, good leadership, and the influence of powerful rhetoric. The main conflict in this play is of Henry’s conquest of France, whose Dauphin challenges Henry with taunts and disrespect. Some of Shakespeare’s most rousing speeches and inspiring rhetoric come from the mouth of King Henry, displaying a theme of good leadership correlating with inspiring words. Henry V’s rejection of the tavern thieves and ascension to truly great heights as king marks a distinct development in his character from the Prince Hal we saw in the previous plays. This play is worth reading for anyone looking for what good leadership looks like, and for anyone who would appreciate a piercingly insightful play remarking on the cost of war and the moral responsibilities of leaders.


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Apr 14, 2021

monicajain12 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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