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Publisher's Summary

This play introduces Shakespeare's greatest comedic character, the dissolute knight Sir John Falstaff.

While King Henry's England is threatened by rebellion, the king's scapegrace son Hal haunts the taverns of London, his companions a crew of rogues and thieves let by Falstaff. The earl of Northumberland and his fiery son Hotspur scheme to overthrow the crown. Can Hal be brought to a sense of duty as Prince of Wales? Or will the influence of Falstaff prove too strong? The issue is decided when Hal, Hotspur, and Falstaff come together at the climactic battle of Shrewsbury.

Hal is played by Jamie Glover and King Henry by Julian Glover. Richard Griffiths is Falstaff.

Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

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Beautiful

Closest preformance to hollow crown movies... I loved the sound effects and the feeling put into the words

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 05-27-17

O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil

“O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil!”
― William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part 1

Falstaff!

Yes, I knew who he was. But until this year my exposure to Falstaff was mainly second-hand, through books that spoke of him. I hadn't touched any of Shakespeare's histories (I'm not counting Julius Caesar, etc., as a history) and so was surprised at just how much I liked this character. There are plays where the character and the play are equally matched (Othello, Hamlet, etc), but there are those plays where the character seems to float beyond the play. Henry IV, Part I seems like one of those. The play was great. I enjoyed it. But every time Falstaff arrived it seemed to jump up a level. It was certainly not a play where Falstaff played a central role. Obviously, Henry, Prince of Wales plays that part (and he is fascinating himself) but Falstaff just dervishes around the play making everything better. Breathing color and dynamics into every scene he is a part of. And he doesn't do it through and other-worldliness. He does it through his humanity, his base motives, and his complicated affections. There is no doubt that Henry loves Falstaff and that Falstaff loves Henry, but it is also clear that they are both using each other and KNOW the other is using them. It is perfect.

And the lines! Some of Shakespeare's great lines and great musings jump energetically from Falstaff's lips:

"Well, ’tis no matter; honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honour set-to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honour? A word. What is in that word “honour”? What is that “honour”? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. ’Tis insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism."

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Chapters Mixed up

Any additional comments?

The chapter dose not play in the correct order and Act 3 scene 2 is missing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Hollow Crown

I listened to the Arkangel full cast recording while reading the E Book format of the play from the Delphi Complete Works of William Shakespeare. The plays King Richard II, King Henry IV Pt. 1 and 2, and Henry V, are a part of what is termed “tetralogy” or four plays that go together like a book series. In the last play King Richard II, we find that Henry Bolingbroke has taken Richard's crown and made himself king. How precarious that crown sits upon his head...not everyone is pleased with the new king and there's plenty of mischief afoot. Not to mention a son who doesn't take much too seriously. The character that will steal the show and become a favorite is featured in this, namely Falstaff. With all the shenanigans going on within the play and beautiful singing in Welsh, I believe, it is a delightful entertaining story.