Henry IV, Part I
The author offers a new approach to the text of the Second Part of King Henry IV, which he sees as an unplanned sequel to the First Part, itself a remake of an old, non-Shakespearean play. The Second Part deliberately exploits the popular success of Sir John Falstaff, introduced in Part One; the resulting rich humor gives a comic dimension to the play that makes it a unique blend of history, morality play and comedy. Among modern editions of the play this is the one most firmly based on the Quarto. Professor Melchiori presents an eminently actable text, by showing how Shakespeare’s own choices are superior for practical purposes to suggested emendations, and by keeping interferences in the original stage directions to a minimum, in order to respect, as Shakespeare did, the players’ freedom.
Contents: Commentaries. From The plays of William Shakespeare / Samuel Johnson — From H.C. Robinson’s Memoranda / Samuel Taylor Coleridge — From The fortunes of Falstaff / John Dover Wilson — From A kingdom for a stage / Robert Ornstein — From Shakespeare and the energies of drama / Michael Goldman — From Man’s estate : masculine identity in Shakespeare / Coppélia Kahn — Interpreting 1 Henry IV : four productions / T.F. Wharton — Henry IV, part one, on stage and screen / Sylvan Barnet.