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The Life and Death of King John: Applause First Folio Editions (Folio Texts) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Neil Freeman , William Shakespeare
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Juli 2000 1557833834 978-1557833839
This important new edition of one of Shakespeare's more neglected plays offers a wide-ranging critical introduction, concentrating on its relevance to Elizabethan political issues and on the role played in it by women, the family, and the law. There is a comprehensive stage history, and full and helpful annotation pays special attention to the play's language and staging. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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  • Taschenbuch: 100 Seiten
  • Verlag: Applause Theatre Books (Juli 2000)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1557833834
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557833839
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,8 x 14,9 x 1,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.046.924 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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One of Shakespeare's most unpopular history plays, King John deals with the life and death of King John, who reigned from 1199 to 1216. This is as early as Shakespeare goes in his treatment of English history, concentrating more successfully on the later 14th and 15th centuries in the plays which stretch from Richard II to Henry VI. As a result, King John suffers from being so historically distant in time, as well as offering a rather weak and vacillating king, who lacks the charisma and authority of Richard III or Henry V. The play begins with King John struggling to retain his throne, under attack from rebellious courtiers and Philip, the king of France. As the quarrel escalates into war with France, the plays begins to take on a contemporary Elizabethan flavour--the feared invasion from a foreign (Catholic) nation, and the extent to which such an invasion is based on the questionable paternity of King John (like Queen Elizabeth, John is accused of being a bastard and is excommunicated). The play is saved from its rather colourless political machinations by Philip the Bastard, John's favourite, a dramatic forerunner of dubious but charismatic malcontents like Edmund in King Lear. It is also Philip who is given the most powerful and patriotic lines, when he claims that "This England never did, nor never shall, / Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror". King John's mysterious and anticlimactic death through illness at the end of the play deflates expectations--something that could be said of the play as a whole. --Jerry Brotton -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


'The Oxford Shakespeare is an admirably scholarly edition, immaculately presented, offering close attention to possibilities of staging as well as meaning.' Dr D. Sedge, Exeter University 'This edition offers the most substantial & one of the most penetrating discussions of the play to date. A remarkable scholarly achievement.' Dr Rene J.A. Weis, Department of English, University College, London 'a most impressive and illuminating edition' R. N. Alexander, Queen Mary Westfield, London 'The major strength of Professor Braunmuller's edition is its introduction. He offers a sane review of such difficult questions as the date of the play, and such controversial ones as its relation to "The Troublesome Reign". The evidence is marshalled in a lucid manner and sensible conclusions drawn ... This is a significant contribution to the (now quickly developing) debate on "King John", and a good demonstration that investigations of Shakespeare as a political dramatist (as opposed to a moral sage) need not be critically reductive.' The Review of English Studies 'By its 'conventionally ordered introduction' (p.1), A.R. Braunmuller's Oxford King John signals that it is, indeed what the dustjacket claims, 'the most thorough scholarly edition now available' ... his edition foregrounds technical material important to scholars over more general interests ... Braunmuller's approach to editing is as fair-minded and scholarly as his introduction ... the King John that sets out the issues most fully and fairly, the edition I want in my study, is Braunmuller's 'conventionally ordered', scholarly text.' Virginia Mason Vaughan, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, Yearbook of English Studies, 1992 'Stanley Wells' OUP Complete Works of Shakespeare is now eight years old and has spawned a new Oxford Shakespeare which appears now in splendidly affordable volumes in that nonpareil of libraries of good reading The World's Classics.' The Oxford Times -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Not Bad, But Not Great Either 13. März 2000
This is a good play, but it does not match Shakespeare's other history plays. In my opinion too much of the play revolves around a doting mother who wants to see her underage son on the throne even though he is very incapable of ruling. Furthermore, any intelligent observer can see that the King of France only wants Arthur on the crown because a child would be a lot easier to manipulate than the shrewd King John. Remember, John WAS NOT a usurper. Richard the Lionhearted named John as the heir to the crown! On the positive side, Richard I's illegitimate son is a powerful and convincing character. John is an interesting 3 dimensional character. At times he comes off as harsh and cruel. But he also shows himself at times to be to be a strong and competent king. And at times we can feel sorry for him. Shakespeare also manages to squeeze some comical touches in. I feel that to appreciate this play as much as possible, you must realize that Richard I named John the heir to the crown. I also feel you must understand that John did prove himself to be a competent king. (Unlike his unfairly blackened reputation in "Robin Hood.")
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Stage quality Bard you can take anywhere! 29. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde
In high school and later at Yale, I labored through the majority of Shakespeare's work, but it was only later, when I saw my first stage production, that I was able to fully appreciate the words, the feelings, the drama and excitement that my teachers had always assured me was there! Now that is available at the touch of a button. I hope every school in the country gets a complete set!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Stage quality Bard that you can take with you! 29. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Had I time enough and words enough, and skill enough, I'd go back in time and give copies of the complete set of Arkangel to every school in the country! How lovely that the current generation can feel the power and the drama and the passion that lies in those dusty pages. Thank you Arkangel for bringing this to life for everyone.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The coolest play! 6. September 1999
Von Me
I recently performed in this play. I had the role of Queen Elinor. It was a joy to put on and I totally recommend the unabridged version to anyone! I myself am trying to find an unabridged book version, so let me know if one becomes available.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  10 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Shakespeare's First Falstaff 28. September 2008
Von James M. Rawley - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
KING JOHN has one of Shakespeare's best death scenes and a character, Faulconbridge the bastard son of Richard the Lion Hearted, who is a first draft for Falstaff -- and better integrated into the play's main action than Falstaff is. It's unique among Shakespeare's works in being about Realpolitik in a genuine historical context -- as if a modern American playwright should write a play about George Washington's political compromises, complete with a presentation of the real historical situations that led up to them. Faulconbridge is there to make cynical comments, and yet remain loyal to King John, who almost, but not quite, becomes a child murderer in the course of the action. Earlier, the complexities of wartime politics are revealed when a town refuses to admit either the King of England or the King of France as its rightful ruler until the two kings have fought out the question first -- whereupon the two kings decide to agree on a truce, just long enough to wipe the town out together, then go back to fighting one another. The play is a wonderful mix of history and ironic commentary, one of two plays of Shakespeare's that is entirely in verse (the other one is RICHARD II, which he wrote just before KING JOHN), and it's tragically poetic and satiric in equal measure. Shakespeare never wrote anything else quite like it. If he wrote better plays, they were also different kinds of plays: this one is unique. The Folger edition has excellent notes for beginning students; the Oxford edition is for more advanced students, and also exceptionally good.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Action through dialogue 8. Mai 2012
Von Vincent Poirier - Veröffentlicht auf
Shakespeare's King John contains its fair share of staged action. One man runs on stage holding a head he's just cut off, another character jumps to his death in front of a sympathetic audience, and two kings flamboyantly parade in and out of scenes.

But in King John Shakespeare employs another technique to convey that things are happening; his dialogues often pass from one character to another in the _middle_ of a line.

The whole play is in verse (most of Shakespeare's plays contain prose passages) in lines of ten syllables, a structure called the iambic pentameter. Reaching the end of the line creates a natural pause in a speech or an exchange. When one character completes his lines, the next character in the dialogue starts his. However, to convey action and urgency, the first character in an exchange says only part of a line and he is then interrupted by the other character who finishes the line without pausing.

The clearest use of the technique comes in act III scene iii line 66. In a single line, King John speaks three times and Hubert de Burgh twice.

KJ: Death.
HB: My Lord?
KJ: A grave.
HB: He shall not live.
KJ: Enough.

I can't reproduce the typography that conveys this, but this is really a single line spoken by two people. The replies should be spoken quickly, they need to run into to each other with no pauses at all. If Shakespeare had written an entire line for each reply, it would have sounded like this.

KJ: We desire to see Arthur meet his death.
HB: My Lord do you really wish this to pass?
KJ: I will be clear, have him enter his grave.
HB: He shall die; by my hand his life is cut.
KJ: We have spoken enough. You conceive me.

Well, if Shakespeare _had_ written it he would have written something much better, but you get the point. The long version loses the feeling of action conveyed by the device of having the single line cut into five replies.

This is the clearest, boldest, most exciting use of the technique in this play. Shakespeares uses it to illustrate John's tragic flaw at the point that dramatically justifies his death at the conclusion.

Vincent Poirier, Tokyo
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A fine play, well edited 11. Dezember 2009
Von Christopher H. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
King John is one of Shakespeare's least popular plays--unjustly! The play is almost entirely in grand, stately verse, featuring a political struggle intricate and sometimes difficult to follow, and starring a fairly complex though ill-fated villain, the failed King John of England. This annotated edition is excellent: the notes are usually incisive and the several appendices deal in meticulous depth with the play's textual cruces. The introduction is an involved but worthwhile read, and the editor's writing style, though dense, is not unpleasant to read.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Memorable characters, memorable lines, and a page-turner 11. Juli 2014
Von Ricardo Mio - Veröffentlicht auf
I was drawn to reading "King John" because of Claire McEachern, who wrote the introduction. In case you don't know, Ms McEachern is a Shakespeare scholar and professor at UCLA who has written several intros for The Pelican Shakespeare series. Her insight into Prince Hal ("Henry IV, Pt. 1") is the most insightful I have read, and got me reading her other introductions, including the one for "King John." Thanks to her, I read the play, which is rarely performed today, but is in fact top-fight Shakespeare, with a cast of memorable characters, memorable lines, and a page-turner to boot.

This is the same King John who was forced into signing the Magna Charta, which Shakespeare left out of the play. Why? Apparently, Queen Elizabeth did not want to be reminded of it, and being politically astute the Bard was not going to be the one to remind her. For the record, King John reigned from 1199 to 1216.

As with history, so with Shakespeare's play, King John is not an admirable character. He's a snake, a political expedient who plays Rome to his own advantage, gets fearless Richard Plantagenet (a.k.a. "the Bastard") to lead his army, and who is not above having his rivals for the throne put to death.

The play revolves around young Arthur, rightful heir to the throne that John has so ignobly usurped. King Philip of France supports Arthur's claim and threatens an invasion. John invades France first and the result is a comedy of errors revolving around both armies and the town of Angiers in France. The looming battle is resolved by the marriage of Blanche, niece to King John, and Lewis, Dauphin of France. John then has Arthur imprisoned, which leads to another war between England and France, and allows Shakespeare the opportunity to create yet another of his great female characters, Constance, mother of Arthur. Her lines alone makes "King John" worthwhile.

Another of the great Shakespearean characters is the Bastard, Sir Richard Plantagenet. He's the type Shakespeare seems to relish--forthright, brutally honest, funny, irreverent, and truly a brave heart. Think actor Richard Burton in "The Taming of the Shrew" and you have the type. Indeed, Burton played the Bastard at the Old Vic, in 1953. The Bastard has the most lines and, as with Constance, makes "King John" resonate. Final note: "King John" is written completely in verse, the only Shakespearean play besides "Richard II" to be so presented.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen One of Shakespeare's statelier plays. 29. August 2001
Von darragh o'donoghue - Veröffentlicht auf
the Oxford Shakespeare has been touted as 'a new conception' of Shakespeare, but is in fact merely an update of the cumbersome old Arden editions. Like these, 'King John' begins with a 100-page introduction, divided into 'Dates and Sources' (full of what even the editor admits is 'tedious' nit-picking of documentary evidence); 'The Text' (the usual patronising conjecture about misprints in the Folio edition and illiterate copyists); 'A Critical Introduction', giving a conventional, but illuminating guide to the drama, its status as a political play dealing with the thorny problem of royal succession, the contemporary legal ambiguities surrounding inheritance, the patterning of characters, the use of language (by characters as political manoeuvring, by Shakespeare to subvert them); and an account of 'King John' 'In the Theatre', its former popularity in the 18th and 19th century as a spectacular pageant, the play distorted for patriotic purposes, and its subsequent decline, presumably for the same reasons. The text itself is full of stumbling, often unhelpful endnotes - what students surely want are explanations of difficult words and figures, not a history of scholarly pedantry. The edition concludes with textual appendices.
The play itself, as with most of Shakespeare's histories, is verbose, static and often dull. Too many scenes feature characters standing in a rigid tableau debating, with infinite hair-cavilling, issues such as the legitimacy to rule, the conjunction between the monarch's person and the country he rules; the finer points of loyalty. Most of the action takes place off stage, and the two reasons we remember King John (Robin Hood and the Magna Carta) don't feature at all. This doesn't usually matter in Shakespeare, the movement and interest arising from the development of the figurative language; but too often in 'King John', this is more bound up with sterile ideas of politics and history, than actual human truths. Characterisation and motivation are minimal; the conflations of history results in a choppy narrative. There are some startling moments, such as the description of a potential blood wedding, or the account of England's populace 'strangely fantasied/Possessed with rumours, full of idle dreams/Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear'. The decline of the king himself, from self-confident warrior to hallucinating madman, anticipates 'King Lear', while the scene where John's henchman sets out to brand the eyes of the pubescent Pretender, is is full of awful tension.
P.S. Maybe I'm missing something, but could someone tell me why this page on 'King John' has three reviews of 'Timon of Athens'? Is somebody having a laugh?
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