"King Richard II" (Arden Shakespeare)

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9780174435761:

The times have forced changes in the way we look at Richard II more than any other of Shakespeare's plays. What to his contemporaries was a balanced dramatisation of the central political and constitutional issue of the time, how to cope with an unjust ruler, has in the last century or so been translated into the poetic fall of a tragic hero. The introduction to this new edition of the play provides a full context for both the Shakespearean and the modern views of King Richard's fall. It relates the play's construction, imagery and staging to contemporary concerns and describes the changing views about Richard's deposition by means of a stage history. The accompanying illustrations suggest Elizabethan ideas of kingship and the staging of the play. The commentary is more detailed than for any previous edition of the play, and assimilates the most recent scholarship. The appendixes discuss the basis for Shakespeare's selection of material for his sources in this most carefully researched and composed of his history plays.

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Product Description:

King Richard exiles his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, the son of the powerful but ailing nobleman, John of Gaunt. When Gaunt dies and the king seizes his lands, the son returns to his homeland. But Bolingbroke's ambitions extend beyond his family's property. He seeks nothing less than Richard's crown and all of England. In this production Richard is played by Rupert Graves, and Bolingbroke, by Julian Glover. The role of Queen Isabel falls to Saira Todd.

Review:

One of Shakespeare's finest history plays, Richard II deals with one of the most sensitive and politically explosive issues of its day--the rights and wrongs of deposing a legitimately appointed king. Forerunner to the two parts of Henry IV, the play deals with the abdication of King Richard II in 1399, the subsequent succession of Bolingbroke, the future King Henry IV, and Richard's death in the spring of 1400. But the play has been celebrated above and beyond its stature as historical drama. Richard II begins with a portrait of Richard as a pompous, arrogant and self-regarding sovereign, with little sense of his people or his political responsibilities. As he consistently miscalculates in his attempts to destroy Bolingbroke, and watches his own power wane, he becomes a far more appealing, Hamlet-like figure, more interested in "talk of graves, of worms and epitaphs", and "sad stories of the death of kings". Richard's speeches become increasingly lyrical and poetic as his supporters desert him, until he finally takes on the stature of the pilloried Christ in the climax of the play, the deposition scene, one of the most politically risky scenes in all of Shakespeare. The play remains most famous for John of Gaunt's "This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle" speech, but historians believe that the play was also performed in the streets of London in 1601 in support of the Earl of Essex's attempt to depose Elizabeth I. While the plot failed, it showed the power of the theatre of the time, and the politically controversial nature of Shakespeare's play. -- Jerry Brotton

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Shakespeare, William
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom (1966)
ISBN 10: 0174435762 ISBN 13: 9780174435761
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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 1966. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd New edition. 198 x 126 mm. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. The Arden Shakespeare has long been acclaimed as the established scholarly edition of Shakespeare s work. Now being totally reedited for the third time, Arden editions offer the very best in contemporary scholarship. Each volume provides a clear and authoritative text, edited to the highest standards; detailed textual notes and commentary on the same page of the text; full contextual, illustrated introduction, including an in-depth survey of critical and performance approaches to the play; and selected bibliography. Bookseller Inventory # LIO9780174435761

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Shakespeare, William
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom (1966)
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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 1966. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd New edition. 198 x 126 mm. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. The Arden Shakespeare has long been acclaimed as the established scholarly edition of Shakespeare s work. Now being totally reedited for the third time, Arden editions offer the very best in contemporary scholarship. Each volume provides a clear and authoritative text, edited to the highest standards; detailed textual notes and commentary on the same page of the text; full contextual, illustrated introduction, including an in-depth survey of critical and performance approaches to the play; and selected bibliography. Bookseller Inventory # LIO9780174435761

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Shakespeare, William
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