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Drama texts, plays
The second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses, Henry VI Part Two is arguably the best introduction to the playwright's genius as a writer of history plays. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by Norman Saunders with an introduction by Michael Taylor.
'My mouth shall be the parliament of Enland'
Henry VI is tricked into marrying Margaret - lover of the Earl of Suffolk, who hopes to rule the kingdom through her influence. There is one great obstacle in Suffolk's path, however - the noble Lord Protector, whom he slyly orders to be murdered. Discovering this betrayal, Henry banishes Suffolk, but with his Lord Protector gone the unworldly young King must face his greatest challenge: impending civil war and the rising threat of the House of York.
This book includes a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Henry VI, Part Two, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay by Rebecca Brown discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), many of which are regarded as the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604),King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love poetry in English.
'We go to Shakespeare to find out about ourselves'