Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
1 Henry IV: A Norton Critical Edition / Edition 3

1 Henry IV: A Norton Critical Edition / Edition 3

by William Shakespeare, Gordon McMullan
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The text, with few departures, is that of the First Quarto (1598) edition of the play.

Act and scene divisions are not indicated in the Quarto; those of the First Folio have been incorporated, with one exception: scene ii of Act V has been divided into two scenes, with the concluding scenes numbered accordingly. The Third Edition includes expanded annotations.

"Contexts and Sources" includes dueling arguments on the play’s completeness (one play or one half of a play?) and the naming of a central character (Falstaff or Oldcastle?).

"Criticism" includes twenty-four essays—from E. M. W. Tillyard’s classic argument of an ordered Shakespearean universe to Graham Holderness’s rebuttal to Gus Van Sant’s interview regarding 1 Henry IV as the inspiration for his cult film, My Own Private Idaho—nineteen of them new to the Third Edition.

The Selected Bibliography has been thoroughly updated.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393979312
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2003
Series: Norton Critical Editions Series
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 502,712
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Gordon McMullan (D.Phil. Oxford) is Professor of English at King’s College London and Director of the London Shakespeare Centre. He is the author of Shakespeare and the Idea of Late Writing: Authorship in the Proximity of Death and The Politics of Unease in the Plays of John Fletcher, and editor of the Arden Shakespeare edition of Henry VIII and the Norton Critical Edition of 1 Henry IV. He is a General Editor of Arden Early Modern Drama. He has edited or co-edited several collections of essays, including Late Style and Its Discontents, Women Making Shakespeare, Reading the Medieval in Early Modern England, and In Arden: Editing Shakespeare.

Date of Death:


Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Read an Excerpt


Enter Rumor, painted full of tongues.


Open your ears, for which of you will stop
The vent of hearing when loud Rumor speaks?
I, from the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
The acts commenced on this ball of earth.
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
The which in every language I pronounce,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
I speak of peace while covert enmity Under the smile of safety wounds the world.
And who but Rumor, who but only I,
Make fearful musters and prepared defense
Whiles the big year, swoll'n with some other grief,
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
And no such matter? Rumor is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wav'ring multitude,
Can play upon it. But what need I thus
My well-known body to anatomize
Among my household? Why is Rumor here?
I run before King Harry's victory,
Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury
Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops,
Quenching the flame of bold rebellion
Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I
To speak so true at first? My office is
To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell
Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword,
And that the King before the Douglas' rage
Stooped his anointed head as low as death.
This have I rumored through the peasant towns
Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
And this worm-eaten [hold] of ragged stone,
(Where) Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,
lies crafty-sick. The posts come tiring on,
And not a man of them brings other news
Than they have learnt of me. From Rumor's tongues
They bring smooth comforts false, worse than
true wrongs

[Rumor] exits.

Copyright © 1999 by The Folger Shakespeare Library

Table of Contents

PrefaceA Note on the TextAbbreviated Genealogy of the Mortimers and the House of LancasterThe Text of 1 Henry IVContexts and SourcesCOMPOSITION AND PUBLICATION

  1. Excerpt from the 1598 Quarto
  1. Harold Jenkins – The Structural Problem in Shakespeare’s “Henry the Fourth”
  2. Paul Yachnin – History, Theatricality, and the “Structural Problem” in the Henry IV Plays
  1. Gary Taylor – The Fortunes of Oldcastle
  2. David Scott Kastan – [Reforming Falstaff]
  1. Peter Saccio – [Shakespearean History and the Reign of Henry IV]
  2. Edward Hall – Henry, Prince of Wales
  3. Raphael Holinshed – Elizabeth and the Uniting of the Two Houses
  4. Anonymous – An Homilee against disobedience and wylful rebellion
  5. Raphael Holinshed – The Chronicles of England
  6. Samuel Daniel – The Ciuile Wars
  7. The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth
  1. John Dryden – The Composition of a Character
  2. Samuel Johnson – [Falstaff]
  3. Elizabeth Montagu – [Hal, Falstaff, and Taste]
  4. Maurice Morgann – An Essay on the Dramatic Character of Sir John Falstaff
  5. John Dover Wilson – The Falstaff Myth
  6. Arthur C. Sprague – Gadshill Revisited
  7. E.M.W. Tillyard – The Second Tetralogy
  8. Henry Ansagar Kelly – [Providence and Progaganda]
  9. Graham Holderness – [Tillyard, History, and Ideology]
  10. Sigurd Burckhardt – [Symmetry and Disorder]
  11. John Wilders – [Knowledge and Misjudgement]
  12. Stephen Greenblatt – [Theater and Power]
  13. Scott McMillin – [Performing 1 Henry IV]
  14. David Scott Kastan – “The King Hath Many Marching in His Coats,” or, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
  15. C. L. Barber – [Mingling Kings and Clowns]
  16. Michael Bristol – [The Battle of Carnival and Lent]
  17. Samuel Crowl – [Welles and Falstaff]
  18. Patricia Parker – [Fat Lady Falstaff]
  19. Coppélia Kahn – [Masculine Identities]
  20. Gus Van Sant – [My Own Private Idaho]
  21. Susan Wiseman – [Shakespeare in Idaho]
  22. Jean E. Howard and Phyllis Rackin – [Gender and Nation]
  23. Christopher Highley – [Defining the Nation]
  24. Barbara Hodgdon – [Endings]
Selected Bibliography

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1 Henry IV: A Norton Critical Edition 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
TheIndomitableImpostor More than 1 year ago
Not only one of Shakespeare's most engaging, and exciting plays, but also a wonderful edition (reading a Norton Critical cover to cover is like taking a graduate level course on the text; it's a "Criterion Collection DVD," if you will, for books). If you are hesitant to jump into Shakespeare's history plays, than this is the one with which to start. Although it is the second part of a four play cycle, it nonetheless stands on its own, and all things considered, this may be the Bard's most enjoyable play. It has action, adventure, comedy, politics, social commentary, history, and, of course, unmatched poetry. This product may very well find a place on your bookshelf for generations.