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Anyone up for Shakespeare? 
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Post Anyone up for Shakespeare?
I'm about to take a journey into one of Shakespeare's most famous histories, King Henry IV, Part I, which features what some critics consider one of the greatest comedic characters in western drama—Sir John Falstaff, Prince Hal's friend and foil.

So although this is a history, it has many comedic elements. In Shakespeare's canon, King Henry IV, Part I is neither one of the shortest plays or the longest. It's about in the middle, running about 3041 lines. By comparison, Hamlet runs 4024 lines and A Midsummer Night's Dream runs 2165 lines.

King Henry IV, part I is perhaps not the easiest entry into Shakespeare, but promises to be very rewarding. I'm hoping a few people might want to tag along on this journey. I always go for Shakespeare with gusto. I recommend first reading a synopsis of the play along with some background information about Shakespearean drama in general and then some historical context as well. And, finally, I find it helps immensely to watch a video or see a performance of the play in addition to reading the text.

In my limited experience, a Shakespeare play is always worthwhile.

from Wikipedia:
Quote:
Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV (two plays, including Henry IV, Part 2), and Henry V. Henry IV, Part 1 depicts a span of history that begins with Hotspur's battle at Homildon in Northumberland against the Douglas late in 1402, and ends with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in the middle of 1403.[1] From the start it has been an extremely popular play both with the public and critics.


If anyone is interested, I would highly recommend The Arden Shakespeare version, which includes a 130-page introduction and numerous annotations that are ultimately necessary to understanding the text with its many obscure references.

http://www.amazon.com/King-Henry-Part-A ... g+henry+iv


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Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:44 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
I read the plays only just recently, PBS was airing them as well. I like to read along with the film versions.
"for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it"



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Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:25 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
Taylor wrote:
I read the plays only just recently, PBS was airing them as well. I like to read along with the film versions.
"for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it"


Excellent! You interested in re-reading? Also, I was actually wondering if I shouldn't start with Richard II, the first play in the tetralogy. Do you have any thoughts on this?

I was eyeing that PBS series too. It looks really good.


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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
Over what period of time are you proposing this discussion?

And how many pages is this play?

Oh, and how many parts are there to this play? Can a play be read and appreciated in part? Why not the whole play?



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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
I have a Dorset complete works that has a well used glossary. Re-reading from any of the plays works for me. I've learned it takes practice to read the plays properly. As it stands I'm I at scene III act 2 of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Sir John Falstaff being of course what drew me to this particular play. I've known people who have or had some of Sir Johns foibles, regrettably I share some myself, but I can not help but enjoy an occasional good debauch.

Chris the play has 5 acts with about 34 pages.



Last edited by Taylor on Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:06 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
geo wrote:
I'm about to take a journey into one of Shakespeare's most famous histories, King Henry IV, Part I, which features what some critics consider one of the greatest comedic characters in western drama—Sir John Falstaff, Prince Hal's friend and foil.

So although this is a history, it has many comedic elements. In Shakespeare's canon, King Henry IV, Part I is neither one of the shortest plays or the longest. It's about in the middle, running about 3041 lines. By comparison, Hamlet runs 4024 lines and A Midsummer Night's Dream runs 2165 lines.

King Henry IV, part I is perhaps not the easiest entry into Shakespeare, but promises to be very rewarding. I'm hoping a few people might want to tag along on this journey. I always go for Shakespeare with gusto. I recommend first reading a synopsis of the play along with some background information about Shakespearean drama in general and then some historical context as well. And, finally, I find it helps immensely to watch a video or see a performance of the play in addition to reading the text.

In my limited experience, a Shakespeare play is always worthwhile.

from Wikipedia:
Quote:
Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV (two plays, including Henry IV, Part 2), and Henry V. Henry IV, Part 1 depicts a span of history that begins with Hotspur's battle at Homildon in Northumberland against the Douglas late in 1402, and ends with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in the middle of 1403.[1] From the start it has been an extremely popular play both with the public and critics.


If anyone is interested, I would highly recommend The Arden Shakespeare version, which includes a 130-page introduction and numerous annotations that are ultimately necessary to understanding the text with its many obscure references.

http://www.amazon.com/King-Henry-Part-A ... g+henry+iv


To be honest, I'm more into Shakespeare's tragedies, such as HAMLET, and his comedies like THE TEMPEST, as opposed to his histories. However, I might be interested in giving this play a read.


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Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:04 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
I like the idea of starting some Shakespeare as an official BookTalk.org fiction discussion on Dec. 1st. The discussion can run a few months or however long you guys see fit. All I mean by making it "official" is that the discussion would get its own forum in the "Fiction Book Discussion Forums" section, it would be announced on the Home page in the "Current Book Discussions" block, and would be displayed on our BOOKS page.

As far as what Shakespeare we read and discuss I think we should leave that decision up to Geo since he is the one spearheading this idea.

If Shakespeare if decided upon as an official discussion I'll need some assistance with how the chosen play is presented on BookTalk.org. By this I mean there appears to be a zillion books on Shakespeare. We really should pick a version that is available for as cheap as possible and is available in eBook format too. But this isn't essential if Geo thinks a particular version is the best choice. I'd just like to maximize the chance of having more people participating than just a handful.



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Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:40 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
Yes i would be interested in that. Would make a nice change.


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Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:20 am
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
Chris OConnor wrote:
I like the idea of starting some Shakespeare as an official BookTalk.org fiction discussion on Dec. 1st. The discussion can run a few months or however long you guys see fit. All I mean by making it "official" is that the discussion would get its own forum in the "Fiction Book Discussion Forums" section, it would be announced on the Home page in the "Current Book Discussions" block, and would be displayed on our BOOKS page.

As far as what Shakespeare we read and discuss I think we should leave that decision up to Geo since he is the one spearheading this idea.

If Shakespeare if decided upon as an official discussion I'll need some assistance with how the chosen play is presented on BookTalk.org. By this I mean there appears to be a zillion books on Shakespeare. We really should pick a version that is available for as cheap as possible and is available in eBook format too. But this isn't essential if Geo thinks a particular version is the best choice. I'd just like to maximize the chance of having more people participating than just a handful.


I started this thread on a whim. I was about to launch into Henry IV, and I was wondering if anyone wanted to read and discuss it as well. But I see now that I have this bass-ackwards. If there's interest in reading some Shakespeare, we should discuss which play. I'm open to any of them. You can't go wrong. So let's have some nominations.

Reading Shakespeare is challenging, which is why I always suggest reading some background information before reading the actual play. Fortunately there are numerous web sites that can help serve as a starting point. All Shakespeare plays are in five acts, so we would just divide up the discussion by act.

I would think two months is all we need to discuss one of the plays. So we could set it up for Dec-Jan. Does that sound reasonable?

Other than that, let's have a show of hands of who would participate. And which play would you like to read? Movie Nerd mentioned The Tempest, which I have always wanted to read as well. Macbeth is one of the tragedies I studied once in a post-grad course, and is one of Shakespeare's shorter plays. There are so many . . .


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Post Anyone up for Shakespeare?
heledd wrote:
Yes i would be interested in that. Would make a nice change.


Awesome!

By the way, I changed the title of this thread while we discuss which play to read and discuss.


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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
The Tempest was excellent, but never read Macbeth. I have the collected plays on video, and can download most of the plays so happy to go with whatever is chosen. Looking forward


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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
I would of course be interested.


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Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:18 am
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Okay, in the interest of getting things moving, I nominate these four plays. Let's get a vote on!

The Winter's Tale
The Winter's Tale is considered a romantic comedy, but tragic elements are interwoven throughout the play. First produced at the Globe around 1610, it is one of Shakespeare's final plays.

Macbeth
A whirlwind tale of murder, betrayal, and lusty ambition. Shakespeare shows an unsurpassed ability to tell a riveting story with transcendent poetic imagery. This is a dark work.

The Tempest
Hailed as a stunning climax to the career of England’s favorite dramatist, The Tempest is a play praising the glories of reconciliation and forgiveness. Some believe that Prospero’s final speeches signify Shakespeare’s personal adieu from the stage.

Henry IV, Part I
Many believe 1 Henry IV to be Shakespeare's greatest history play. The unforgettable characters Hotspur, Prince Hal, King Henry, and the jovial John Falstaff affirm John Dryden's assertion that Shakespeare was "the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul."

Plot summaries are available here.

http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/play-summary/


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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
I've changed this thread to a "Global Announcement" so that it appears at the very top of every forum. Maybe it will get some more attention now.



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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Hamlet or The Tempest would be good in my opinion. A Midsummer Night's Dream is too much of a mind bender, and Romeo and Juliet has been overdone to an extreme.


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