Originally published in 1986. This volume points to the rich variety of critical responses to the Henry IV plays and their complexity. It includes selections from characteristic thought of the neoclassical age, character criticism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, historical and new criticism, theatrical interpretation and other pieces by the likes of Samuel Johnson and W. H. Auden. The editor’s introduction explains the collection’s relevance and puts the pieces in context. Several chapters look at the character of Falstaff and the changing response and critique through time. Organised chronologically, the collection then ends with two pieces of theatrical criticism.
Preface Joseph Price Preface David M. Bevington Introduction David M. Bevington 1. An Essay Towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, Humor, Raillery, Sature and Ridicule (1744) Corbyn Morris 2. Notes from the Plays of William Shakespeare (1765) Samuel Johnson 3. An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare, Compared with the Greek and French Dramatic Poets (1769) Elizabeth Montague 4. An Essay on the Dramatic Character of Sir John Falstaff (1777) Maurice Morgann 5. Remarks on the Character of Falstaff (1786) Henry Mackenzie 6. Remarks Upon the Characters of Falstaff and His Group (1786) Richard Cumberland 7. Henry IV: The Character of Falstaff (1811) Samuel Taylor Coleridge 8. Henry IV in Two Parts (1817) William Hazlitt 9. The English Historical Plays (1875) Edward Dowden 10. Dramatic Opinions and Essays (1907) George Bernard Shaw 11. The Rejection of Falstaff (1902) A. C. Bradley 12. Henry IV (1939) Mark Van Doren 13. The Falstaff Myth (1943) John Dover Wilson 14. Henry IV (1944) E. M. W. Tillyard 15. The Prince’s Dog (1948) W. H. Auden 16. The Argument of Comedy (1949) Northrop Frye 17. Gadshill Revisited (1953) Arthur Colby Sprague 18. Character Versus Action in Shakespeare (1957) Robert Langbaum 19. Moral Metaphor and Dramatic Image (1958) Bernard Spivack 20. Rule and Misrule in Henry IV (1959) C. L. Barber 21. Shakespeare’s Politics and the Rejection of Falstaff (1959) G. K. Hunter 22. A Little More Than a Little (1960) R. J. Dorius 23. The Turning Away of Prince Hal (1965) Jonas A. Barish 24. Swoll’n with Some Other Grief: Shakespeare’s Prince Hal Trilogy (1968) Sigurd Burckhardt 25. Casting Off the Old Man: History and St. Paul in Henry IV (1970) D. J. Palmer 26. Hal and the ‘Play Extempore’ in 1 Henry IV (1974) Paul A. Gottschalk 27. Shakespeare’s Comic Sense as it Strikes us Today: Falstaff and the Protestant Ethic (1978) Robert G. Hunter 28. Uneasy Lies: Language and History in Shakespeare’s Lancastrian Tetralogy (1984) Ronald R. Macdonald 29. The Henry IV Plays (1984) Robert N. Watson 30. Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 at the Barbican Theatre (1983) R. L. Smallwood 31. Henry the Fourth Parts I and II: Text and Performance (1983) T. F. Wharton