Falstaff: Four Plays: Henry IV 1 and 2, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry V

Overview

A reader's edition, modernized language ("you" for "thee," etc.) and glossary for unfamiliar words. Plus chart of characters continuing from one play to another.

Falstaff appears, in one way or another, in four of Shakespeare's plays. His character serves as a counterpoint to the transformation of the scamp Prince Hal, who ultimately, on ascending the throne, must repudiate his old drinking and thieving buddy, Falstaff.

As seen in the chart of ...

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Overview

A reader's edition, modernized language ("you" for "thee," etc.) and glossary for unfamiliar words. Plus chart of characters continuing from one play to another.

Falstaff appears, in one way or another, in four of Shakespeare's plays. His character serves as a counterpoint to the transformation of the scamp Prince Hal, who ultimately, on ascending the throne, must repudiate his old drinking and thieving buddy, Falstaff.

As seen in the chart of characters in the back matter, many characters appear in more than one play, including the reprobates surrounding Falstaff, a fat old knight whose moral sense has eroded to the mere semblance of propriety. The character of Falstaff has fascinated audiences for a few centuries now, for when he is on the stage, he's stage center. Even in his dying and death, his companions bring him back to memory.

Queen Elizabeth is reported to have been so enchanted with Falstaff after Shakespeare had written him into two plays, that she insisted he write another specifically for Falstaff, and that became The Merry Wives of Windsor, unrelated to history, just for fun, mostly at the expense of Falstaff.

Henry V shows the reformed Prince Hal as a conquering hero; meanwhile Falstaff can be heard from a back room, as he is dying.

If you've never seen the extravagant character of Falstaff onstage, try these free samples at http://www.bandannabooks.com/free/falstaffsample.zip. Other works of Shakespeare, including Sir Toby Belch, a predecessor of the character of Falstaff, can be found at http://www.bandannabooks.com/drama.php.

A dozen of these books are Playbooks for directors and producers actually involved in or planning to investigate live productions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780942208740
  • Publisher: Bandanna Books
  • Publication date: 9/12/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

William Shakespeare, the third of eight children, was born on April 23, 1564 in the English market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. His father became the mayor of Stratford in 1568 and worked as a glovemaker and a moneylender. Four years after leaving school at approximately the age of fourteen, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in November of 1582; their first child Susannah was born in May of the following year. Two years later, Anne gave birth to twins, Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, a period called "the lost years," there is almost no evidence about Shakespeare's life, nor is there any solid evidence about how or why he made his way to London to become a dramatist. By 1592, however, Shake-speare's reputation as a playwright and poet had begun to grow. In 1594, he helped found a new theater company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and be-came the company's dramatist. Shakespeare's success increased, and by 1598, the year he registered The Merchant of Venice, he had already purchased one of the biggest residences in Stratford. Some of Shakespeare's richest dramatic work was written after the founding of the Globe Theater by the Lord Chamberlain's Men in 1599, including Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. After 1611, Shakespeare largely retired from the theater to spend more time in Stratford. He died in 1616 on his birthday, April 23, when he was fifty-two years old.
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