The critic Norman Rabkin called Henry V “the capstone to an edifice of plays tightly mortared to one another”[i], and yet, the majority of productions attempt to present the play as a standalone story that represents the producers' own political vision. These distortions have created a new play entirely and the most popular versions of Henry V have not revealed Shakespeare’s Henry, but rather one which served its creator’s particular purpose. In Episode 19 of Shakespeare Unbard, Joel Fishbane explores this powerful but uneven play.
In this episode you'll hear clips and excerpts from:
Branagh, Kenneth, dir. Henry V. Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1989.
Brill, Clive. dir. Henry V. Arkangel Shakespeare.
Olivier, Laurence, dir. Henry V. Eagle Lion Films, 1944.
Shakespeare, William. Henry V (The Riverside Shakespeare). Houghton and Mifflin, 1974.
[i] Rabkin, Norman. Shakespeare and the Problem of Meaning. U of Chicago Press. Chicago. 1981. 36.