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Henry VI, Part 2

por William Shakespeare

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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7742021,131 (3.64)52
The Oxford ShakespeareGeneral Editor Stanley WellsThe Oxford Shakespeare offers authoritative texts from leading scholars in editions designed to interpret and illuminate the works for modern readers- a new, modern-spelling text, collated and edited from all existing printings- on-page commentary and notes explain meaning, staging, language and allusions- detailed introduction considers composition, sources, performances, and changing critical attitudes to the play- textual introduction reconsiders the complex relationship between the two original texts- illustrated with production photographs and related art- full index to introduction and commentary- durable sewn binding for lasting use'not simply a better text but a new conception of Shakespeare. This is a major achievement of twentieth-century scholarship.' Times Literary Supplement… (mais)
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Inglês (17)  Espanhol (1)  Sueco (1)  Todas as línguas (19)
Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I would've liked more Jack Cade. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
Listened to LibriVox full cast audiobook & read in Kindle omnibus "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare"

Not quite as compelling to me as Part 1 but still much less difficult than I expect of Shakespeare. And now I know the context of the famous line "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."! ( )
  leslie.98 | Feb 7, 2021 |
An absolutely wonderful edition of this play, acknowledging it both a single entity and part of a much larger sequence. The informative introduction discusses critical and theatrical approaches to the work over the centuries, and the notes are second-to-none.

My only issue with the Arden series is in the advertising. Their website and promotional materials suggest these are the best Shakespeare editions for students, including highschool and undergraduate. I'm just not sure I agree. For instance the astoundingly deep introduction opens with a lengthy look at performance history which includes extensive discussions of how the other plays fit, which can often casually discuss political and narrative elements in them without really explaining it. The second section, on the play's critical history, again uses a lot of in-depth terms or academic asides without detailing these for younger or inexperienced students. This isn't the fault of the editor, since he is writing for an academic and knowledgeable audience; it's the fact that - while I acknowledge capitalism is above all - perhaps Arden could subtly shift their marketing toward the academic crowd, or produce school texts with similar textual notes but a slighter introduction. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
This is a very uneven play, unfortunately. The first half attempts, mostly unsuccessfully, to justify and ramp up the enmity between the Lancaster line in Suffolk and the rage of York. It's mostly just scheming and jealousy and the blame game. York wanted to have his blood tied to the King while Suffolk (at least in the play, if not in actual fact, history,) was smitten with Queen Margaret, whom he unwisely pushed off to his king instead of just making her his own, with huge overtones of Lancelot and Gwennie.

And then Suffolk dies in sweet tune to the prophesy that the play begins with, and then the action and the interest picks up, turning a frankly boring escapade into a pretty awesome end.

So, yeah, I call the first half of this play weak. Weak, I say.

The second half, the parts where Jack Cade, care of York and his scheming and his soon forthcoming full attempt upon the Throne of England, brings all the blood and pillage and a truly immense amount of book burning upon the stage, with ignorant masses calling for the downfall of whatever bogeyman they can conjure out of smoke or just the smoke from Jack Cade's arse. Mind you, this is strictly historical, although he wasn't quite as villainous as portrayed here. I think Cade honestly wanted a populist rebellion, but when he let slip his control of the masses and let them pillage and rape and steal after being successful against the king's mismanaged forces, he lost all the honor he might have won in the day.

In the play, instead, we're treated to something quire gruesome with a number of heads on poles.

After that bit wrapped up, though, it was York's turn, bringing his army into Kent after it had been softened by Cade, and after a few reversals, he manages to win and see the king flee off to London and sets himself up as another king of England.

The action and the story and the cliffhanger is quite delicious, assuming you hadn't fallen asleep during the first parts of the play. Alas.

The broad outlines of what happened in history is pretty on target, but some motivations are ramped up or made from whole cloth to make the play more exciting. Can I blame it? Not really.

Warwick doesn't really feel as important in the play as he always felt in my readings of history, either. Or perhaps that's just because he really hasn't come into his own until Part 3. ;)

But as a side note, one thing I found rather delicious was the youthful and smartass future King Richard III being all valorous and quick of foot and mind amongst all his older brothers and his father. Hey look, it's a the young man who'll grow up to be a wretched monster! lol. Well, that's Shakespeare. History is full of supporters and detractors of Richard of York and where does the truth really lie?

I just wish this play had been more even in quality. Sigh.
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
A Saintly King no Match for Headless Coqs

In the fifteenth century the age of chivalry had long since passed and Shakespeare with his first history play written in the late sixteenth century shows how personal the barbarity had become. Warrior Queens and ambitious wives add to a fatal mix for the Noble families of England.

Lady Eleanor:
Were I a man, a duke and next of blood,
I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks
And smooth my way upon their headless necks.


Testosterone drives the events forward, which rapidly threaten the king himself with the Duke of York happy to stir up a popular revolt to gain the crown. It was quite simply all or nothing if you didn't get to wear the crown you lost your head. This had always been the case, but the wars of the roses between the houses of York and Lancaster threatened to plunge the country into chaos and Shakespeare shows how close it was for the the Lord of Misrule to triumph. If ever the Elizabethan state needed a history lesson as the queen aged with no heir to the throne then Shakespeare provided it. Reading and watching a performance of the play today shows just how well the play works. It makes for great drama and an interesting interpretation of the history of England.

The majority of the play is centred around the the scheming of the powerful Dukes of England as they break into various factions to secure the crown from a king who has proven to be weak in the art of politics and leadership. However interspersed are scenes and one whole act of the blackest of black comedy involving non noble characters, which are also relevant to the plot. In act one it is Eleanor; wife of the Lord Protector to the king and the most powerful man in the kingdom who hires a sinister group of charlatans to prophesy the fate of the king and his advisers. The scene ends with their arrest and puts in train the events that will lead to the Protectors downfall. In act 2 there is the miracle cure claimed by Simpcox which is foiled in the public domaine by the Lord Protector, then there is the trial by combat of Horner the armourer and Peter his assistant. Peter has accused Horner of uttering treasonable words and the king has ordered a trial by combat. These trials usually took place between men of noble birth and Peter and Horner are provided with long poles and sandbags as weapons (as befits their station). However Peter kills Horner and this turning upside down of the way things should be is a portent of Jack Cades rebellion in act 4. This starts with the execution of Suffolk at the hands of pirates; dark in the extreme before moving onto a tremendous piece of theatre as Jack Cade acts out a real Lord of Misrule, hanging and ordering the death of innocent people on a whim, stirring up a mob and making a mockery of law and justice. Act 5 starts with the ignominious killing of Cade before the play ends in an orgy of death and destruction as York makes his play for the crown aided by Warwick and Salisbury.

The Arden Shakespeare edition contains most of what you would want for a reading of the play. As is usual with this series it pays some attention to the productions of the play on stage since the 1590's. How different productions can emphasise the particular themes that run through the play. For example the carnivalesque aspects which could be toned down and played for a more gentle comedy instead of a more Rabelaisian saga of violence. The relationship between King Henry and his queen Margaret could either be played as a respectful queen towards her saintly husband, or as a strong willed woman contemptuous of a weak and indecisive monarch who is losing his grip on his crown. Ronald Knowles introduction covers many of the themes and he is particularly strong on providentialism: the belief that God controls events on earth and works in mysterious ways and the great chain of being; everybody has and knows their place in society and should stick to it. These ideas are challenged by the machiavellianism of the nobles and the violent challenges from those lower down the order. He is also very good on the burlesque distortion of society occasioned by Jack Cade's rebellion. He also covers issues relating to text and authorship including the quarto publication of The Contention (this is included in a facsimile reproduction as an appendix). There is a section on sources and of course as you would expect there are copious notes which explain where Shakespeare found his history and where he adapted it to fit into a drama that played well on stage.

This is an early play by Shakespeare, perhaps the first where he was the main author, but his skill and artistry is evident. The animal imagery in evidence throughout may appear a little overplayed in places and repetitive, but it does link the actions within the play and hammers home one of the main ideas that the actions of both the nobles in their lust for power and the lower orders in their lust to destroy is hardly better than the primitive natural world. There are interesting parallels between the actions of the nobles and the ordinary people and the death scenes are well handled. The violence both on and off stage is extreme with a central motif of decapitation and defilement. "Yes, Poll!" says the pirate lieutenant; "Pole!" corrects Suffolk (he is William de la Pole) whose head does not end up on a pole as do other characters in this play, his head ends up in the lap of his lover Queen Margaret (unfortunately not attached to his body). Characterisation is pushed up to another level by Shakespeare; the strident assertive females, the essentially good and holy King, The world weary Duke of Gloucester who can hardly believe what is happening to him and who has a tremendous scene with his wife the lady Eleanor who is just finishing a two day ordeal of public penance; the cunning Duke of York and the bravado of the kingmaker Warwick.

The BBC 1983 television production directed by Jane Howell is a must see for anybody that likes this play. It sticks closely to the text that has come down to us and proves how well the play works in the theatre. Peter Bensen as King Henry is portrayed as a weak king in the traditional sense of being out of touch and fearful of what is going on around him. He needs the support of his Protector the good and sensitive Duke of Gloucester. His new Queen: Margaret played by Julia Foster is a feisty woman intent on asserting her authority in love perhaps with Suffolk, but is able to let him go when her position is threatened. The Jack Cade scenes are excellent as is the fighting at the conclusion, many of the themes highlighted by the Arden edition can be followed in this production.

Shakespeare's Henry VI part 2 shows a world that is gripped by greed where violence always lurks just below the surface and rises up with the least provocation. It is a world where pageantry and order can no longer paper over the cracks, it is a world sinking into barbarism where the strongest survive and religion is only for the foolish. A martial society where the ability to bear arms is of the upmost importance. It is all here in Shakespeare's play and the words on the page can come alive on the stage. Brilliant 5 stars. ( )
3 vote baswood | Jan 9, 2020 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Shakespeare, Williamautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Brissaud, PierreIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gollancz, IsraelEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lamar, Virginia A.Editorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wright, Louis B.Editorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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As by your high imperial majesty

I had in charge at my depart for France,

As procurator to your excellence,

To marry Princess Margaret for your grace,

So, in the famous ancient city, Tours,

In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,

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The Oxford ShakespeareGeneral Editor Stanley WellsThe Oxford Shakespeare offers authoritative texts from leading scholars in editions designed to interpret and illuminate the works for modern readers- a new, modern-spelling text, collated and edited from all existing printings- on-page commentary and notes explain meaning, staging, language and allusions- detailed introduction considers composition, sources, performances, and changing critical attitudes to the play- textual introduction reconsiders the complex relationship between the two original texts- illustrated with production photographs and related art- full index to introduction and commentary- durable sewn binding for lasting use'not simply a better text but a new conception of Shakespeare. This is a major achievement of twentieth-century scholarship.' Times Literary Supplement

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Penguin Australia

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Edições: 0140714669, 0141017104

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