Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Henry IV” as Want to Read:
Henry IV
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Henry IV

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  635 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In this meeting of two noted playwrights, Tom Stoppard has made a new version of Luigi Pirandello's masterpiece of madness and sanity. After a fall from his horse, an Italian aristocrat wakes up believing he is the medieval German emperor Henry IV. Twenty years later the woman he once loved visits him, accompanied by her lover and psychiatrist, who plans to shock "Henry" b ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published July 11th 2005 by Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (first published 1922)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Henry IV, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Henry IV

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 24, 2011 Praj rated it really liked it
Shelves: lp
Pirandello was a complex and bizarre man when it came to penning down personality narrations. His works on theatrical post-modern genres are not only mesmerizing but quite baffling at times.

Henry IV is an engrossing masquerade about an actor/protagonist of a play who goes crazy after being knocked off his horse. The actor then wanders in a deluded world owing to the persona of Henry IV (a character he used to play before the ill-fated mishap) spanning over twelve years after the fall. Thus he th
Feb 05, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
HENRY IV. (1922). Luigi Pirandello. ****.
Here is another popular play by this Nobel Prize-winning Sicilian playwright that explores themes of reality and madness. After a confusing bit in the beginning, we finally learn that his protagonist has lost his mind after a fall from a horse while playing in a masquerade. He then believes that he is the medieval German emperor Henry IV. This delusion is fortified by a wealthy relative who surrounds him with a diverse costumed group of servants and cour
Jan 13, 2017 Paola rated it liked it
It was so confusing I truly enjoyed it
Jan 25, 2017 keren rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, 2017
(view spoiler)
Mar 04, 2013 Shayma'a rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: مسرح
أقرأ شكسبير لأنه أرث بشري..

أرث بشري مليء بالأبداع و القصائد الجميلة ، لكنه أيضاً مليء بالعصنرية و التمييز بين الجنسين و الجمل الأعتراضية الطويلة الغير منطقية و الأسهاب في التشبيهات المغالي فيها في غير موضعها في رأيي ، و ربما كان ذلك ما يتناسب مع ذوق عصره ، هو مؤلف عبقري لكن أعتقد أنه كان أناني بما فيه الكفاية ليختار أن يغير في الحقائق التاريخية ،لأنه فضل التأثيرات الدرامية على الحقيقة البسيطة التي مات من أجلها الالآف أو الملايين، كنت أرجو أن أجد منه تفكيراً مستقلاً ،متعطش للحقيقة ، لكني في المقا
Geoff Sebesta
Dec 13, 2016 Geoff Sebesta rated it really liked it
Oddly cute.

Not what I expected at all, because I thought I was going to read about Henry IV of England. Still, it was an unexpected delight. I read somewhere recently that what novelists really have to sell is omniscience. This play certainly fits that bill.

There was a whole lot of cliche, but I guess that's normal with classics. If it wasn't a cliche before it was written, it was after.
Jul 28, 2013 Keith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The clothes make the man. And in this case it is the 11th century robes of the German Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. The plot in brief: At a costume party a man – whose real name is never told – falls from a horse and wakes up believing he is Henry IV. Twenty years later, his cousin and others come to his home to shock him out of his delusion.

Identity, self and madness are all called in question in this brief play. The wonderfully tight plot pulls all these elements together in strange yet reveal
May 31, 2007 Ali rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-plays
One of the most progressive writers of 20th. century with a wonderful revolutionary look on human and history.
لوئیجی پیراندللو یکی از پیشروان نمایش نامه نویسی و ادبیات معاصر جهان معاصر است. در هر صفحه و صحنه از آثار او نگاه و حرف تازه ای ست که هنوز هم پس از هفتاد هشتاد سال، از اهمیت آن کاسته نشده است. متاسفانه بعد از بهمن محصص که چند کار پیرآندلو را در دهه ی چهل به فارسی برگردانده، چندان کار زیادی از او به فارسی در نیامده است. از میان داستان های کوتاهش، بیست داستان با ترجمه ی خانم زهرا خانلری کی
Mar 07, 2013 krystal rated it really liked it
Shelves: play
Pirandello has a way of writing that feels as if the reader is intruding on his own personal turmoil (which, given the institutionalization of his wife and the extreme depression he suffered after his huge financial losses in the mining business, were numerous) -- sometimes the words on the page are so genuinely personal and true that Pirandello is Henry IV. Monologuing in the words of a half-crazy, half-lucid, and all tumultuously violent man stuck in the dichotomous realities of his mind and c ...more
Well, ’tis no matter. Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to a leg? no. Or an arm? no. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honor hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word “honor”? What is that “honor”? Air. A trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. 'Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Det ...more
E' davvero difficile commentare un testo teatrale che si presta a molte riflessioni.

Pirandello riesce, con un colpo di penna (e probabilmente qualche bravo attore) a stravolgere i punti di vista.
Entriamo nella storia pian piano, in punta di piedi e creiamo la nostra opinione, che viene immediatamente e inaspettatamente stravolta nell'atto successivo.

Non essendo una grande estimatrice dei testi teatrali dei quali, lo ammetto, preferisco vedere la rappresentazione, ritengo però che le opere di Pir
May 07, 2012 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pirandello is an absolute master. His "Six Characters in Search of an Author" is one of my favorite dramas of all time. "Enrico IV" falls in the same line - reality and illusion are not necessarily distinguishable from each other, and are subject to the human characters choosing to participate. He takes the act of drama itself as the catalyst for this exploration, to stunning effects. The story never seems strained, and the language flies off the page. I have too many favorite lines to list them ...more
Alaska ♡
Jul 07, 2016 Alaska ♡ rated it really liked it
// 3.5 stars //
This was pleasantly good, and I honestly enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The plot was genius and, even if it was not very long, all the characters were well-developed, their feelings reliable.
Nonetheless, the beginning was a bit slow and I didn't quite get the ending; I think it was a little bit off tone compared to the rest. Still, this was a really nice read, and I would recommend it if you want to start getting into plays ;)
Andrés Culebro
Jun 19, 2015 Andrés Culebro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enrique IV está loco? O los locos son todos los demás? Una obra que juega con el concepto de la locura y los llamados "locos". Como dice el personaje, "Benditos sean ellos! Los locos construyen sin lógica, o con una lógica propia que vuela como una pluma..."
Una obra divertida y fascinante donde la realidad se vuelve una verdadera locura. Pirandello nos afirma una frase de Lewis Carroll: "Está loco, pero te dire un secreto: las mejores personas lo están".
Jack Hrkach
Aug 14, 2015 Jack Hrkach rated it really liked it
This, and not Six Characters, is my favorite play by Pirandello - hands down. I won't write at length about it, as the plot is tricky and must be related in some detail - but if you like the idea of truth vs illusion (George did, Martha didn't in a more recent play) you will be on the edge of your seat, whether at a performance (but it's a bitch to get right) or reading it (when you can imagine your own performance, often as much fun as seeing one!)
Mar 21, 2015 Lauracio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Letto (o riletto? ho una vera lacuna mnesica) in occasione dello spettacolo Teatrale di stasera. Pirandello delizia il cervello del lettore con questi dialoghi secchi e complessi che arricchiscono di filosofia una storia semplicissima a livello di "trama". Pura manna per la mente.
Sep 16, 2011 Jess rated it it was amazing
Read this. Technically a reread, because I've read Enrico IV in Italian, but this was the first time I'd read the Stoppard one, which has a nice modern tone to it while maintaining the feeling of the play.
Oct 21, 2016 Tina rated it really liked it
Having recently re-read a different translation (from, I believe, the 1950s), of this, one of my favorite plays, I was interested in seeing how the Tom Stoppard version would differ. The tone is more modern, but the intentions remain, and it was definitely a smoother read. Still brilliant!!!
Aug 30, 2016 Adi rated it liked it
The story was good and creative. The main character survives after an accident only to spend the next 20 years believing that he's an ancient German emperor. I also liked the climax, as some unexpected revelations were disclosed.
Karlo Mikhail
May 28, 2014 Karlo Mikhail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Fairly sophisticated work dealing with the the interrelations between representation, identity, and theatrical performance. Superb.
Dan rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2016
Emilio rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2014
Laura rated it liked it
Jul 13, 2015
adi rated it it was ok
Mar 01, 2014
Federico rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2015
Shira rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2012
Grace Amanda
Grace Amanda rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2014
Ettore Costa
Ettore Costa rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2014
Kenneth rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2014
Giorgia rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mistero buffo. Giullarata popolare
  • Operette Morali: Essays and Dialogues
  • Orlando Furioso di Ludovico Ariosto raccontato da Italo Calvino
  • La Locandiera
  • Complete Plays and Prose
  • Awake and Sing!
  • Krapp's Last Tape and Other Dramatic Pieces
  • Piccoli equivoci senza importanza
  • Centuria: One Hundred Ouroboric Novels
  • Orlando Furioso
  • La casa in collina
  • Il male oscuro
  • Tutte le poesie
  • Strange Interlude
  • Mandragola
  • Reeds in the Wind
  • Galileo
  • Uomini e no
Luigi Pirandello (Italian: [luˈiːdʒi piranˈdɛllo]; Agrigento 28 June 1867 – Rome 10 December 1936) was an Italian dramatist, novelist, poet and short story writer whose greatest contributions were his plays. He was awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature for "his almost magical power to turn psychological analysis into good theatre. Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, ...more
More about Luigi Pirandello...

Share This Book

“Perché trovarsi davanti a un pazzo sapete che significa? Trovarsi davanti a uno che vi scrolla dalle fondamenta tutto quanto avete costruito in voi, attorno a voi, la logica, la logica di tutte le vostre costruzioni! - Eh! Che volete? Costruiscono senza logica, beati loro, i pazzi! O con una loro logica che vola come una piuma!” 1 likes
“(...) trovarsi davanti
a un pazzo sapete che significa? trovarsi davanti a uno
che vi scrolla dalle fondamenta tutto quanto avete costruito
in voi, attorno a voi, la logica, la logica di tutte le
vostre costruzioni!”
More quotes…