Introducing the beloved comic character of Falstaff, this play tells of political intrigue and rebellion in the court of Henry Bolingbroke.
Rebellion, political intrigue and questions of kingship dominate the play described in the 1623 Folio as The First Part of Henry the Fourth. Henry Bolingbroke’s grip on power is insecure, with active insurrections by Worcester, Hotspur and Glyndwr, and the personal rebellion of his son, Prince Hal. More than political drama, Henry IV Part 1 is also the first of Shakespeare’s history plays to make extensive use of comic techniques – most famously through the larger-than-life character of Falstaff.
Published by Oxford University Press and bound in hardback buckram by The Folio Society, The Oxford Shakespeare series offers authoritative editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The early printings have been scrupulously re-examined and interpreted by eminent scholars, who also provide introductory essays covering all relevant background information, together with an appraisal of critical views and of the plays in performance. The exhaustive commentaries pay particular attention to language and staging. Reprints of sources, music for songs, genealogical tables and maps are included where necessary; many of the volumes are illustrated, and all contain an index.
Each book has an individual editor, with the whole series overseen by Stanley Wells.
David Bevington is Professor of English at the University of Chicago.
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