Title: Henry V
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Shakespeare; My Years — 1998 (Readings); Dewey 800s (Readings)
Before delving into this month’s Shakespeare play (I haven’t read this one), I thought it would be a good idea to get a sense of history context. The kings and queens of England are really not my forte when it comes to history. I picked up Readings of William Shakespeare’s The Histories published by Greenhaven Press (1998). It contained some basic summaries of the history plays. But the part that I really liked was the critical essays. One gave a great historical account of the War of the Roses. One focuses on how Shakespearean England saw the war and monarchs. And one dealt with perspective in Henry V. Overall these helped give me something of a road map when reading the play itself.
I really liked this one. Maybe it’s because the play is historical. But I think maybe because Henry V is such a great character. We don’t get many characters in this play, but that’s okay. The focus is on Henry V. I really got into the multiple facets of his personalities. It made him a real person and not a caricature. On a completely different note, I found the language more readable than Macbeth. J suggested that this is more straight-forward without as many metaphors as Macbeth. possibly… At any rate I read this one much faster and without constantly looking at the footnotes.