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The First Part of King Henry VI
by William Shakespeare
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In their lively and engaging edition of this sometimes neglected early play, Cox and Rasmussen make a strong claim for it as a remarkable work, revealing a confidence and sureness that very few earlier plays can rival. They show how the young Shakespeare, working closely from his chronicle sources, nevertheless freely shaped his complex material to make it both theatrically effective and poetically innovative. The resulting work creates, in Queen Margaret, one of Shakespeare?s strongest female roles and is the source of the popular view of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick as ?kingmaker?. Focusing on the history of the play both in terms of both performance and criticism, the editors open it to a wide and challenging variety of interpretative and editorial paradigms.
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