Henry V , the climax of Shakespeare's sequence of English history plays, is an inspiring, often comic celebration of a young warrior-king. But it is also a study of the costly exhilarations of war, and of the penalties as well as the glories of human greatness. Introducing this brilliantly innovative edition, Gary Taylor shows how Shakespeare shaped his historical material, examines controversial critical interpretations, discusses the play's fluctuating fortunes in performance, and analyses the range and variety of Shakespeare's characterization. The first Folio text is radically rethought, making original use of the First Quarto (1600). This book is intended for a-level upwards - Shakespeare students and teachers, also students of 17th-century drama and tragedy; actors and playgoers.