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King Edward III

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  173 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Edward III is a major addition to the Shakespearean canon, being included for the first time in an authoritative edition of Shakespeare's works. Melchiori claims that Shakespeare is the author of a significant part of the play, the extent of which is discussed in detail. The introduction explores the play's historical background and its relationship to the early cycle of h ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published March 28th 1998 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1596)
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Bill  Kerwin

If this play is indeed Shakespeare--and it seems at least a part of it is--it wins the award for worst history play, beating "King John" by at least a length and a half. Like "John," it is an episodic, shambling thing, but it has nothing half as good as the bastard Falconbridge to recommend it.

Some of the verse, particularly in the Countess of Salisbury sequence, possesses a grace uncharacteristic of the play, and imagery which is felicitous if not memorable. In addition, there is a scene in wh
Sep 23, 2014 Scott rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
It did have its moments (some of the dialogue between Prince Edward and Audley was rather moving, as well as the scenes between King Edward and the Countess of Salisbury), but on the whole it was a bit disappointing. The emotional complexity of the first act or two is transformed into a sort of jingoistic pageant, with the good guys (England) triumphing over the bad guys (France). One of Shakespeare's weakest plays (assuming Shakespeare did write at least some of it, that is). It's not bad, but ...more
One of the Bard's apocrypha - the plays that didn't make the cut for the Folio, for whatever reason, and weren't captured in the early additions (as plays like Pericles and Two Noble Kinsmen were). Although now widely thought to be partly by Shakespeare, there's division of opinion about how much.

I find Shakespeare authorship arguments hard to fathom sometimes, because when you get past the not-always-reliable text analysis, it usually boils down to "if it's not great, let's say it's not by Shak
Didn't know there was a Shakespeare's Edward III? I didn't either. I read this because I have a long-held ambition, which may or may not come to fruition, to read all of the history plays. I thought perhaps I would do it this spring in conjunction with John Julius Norwich's historical background survey Shakespeare's Kings , which treats Edward III as canonical.
While reading this play, I thought a great deal about Arthur Phillips' superb 2011 novel, The Tragedy of Arthur , the second half of
Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this apocryphal play is at least partly by Shakespeare, but you'll have to wait until I have more free time to run some analyses on it for evidence. The plot is quite different in nature from the rambling and episodic style of 2H6, but I guess the date would be closer to H5, which seems like a good parallel. Onward to more apocrypha!
Darren Freebury-Jones
A collaboration with Thomas Kyd judging by stylistic analysis. The play, much like Henry VI Part One, is flawed in many respects, but Shakespeare's handling of the wooing scenes is mellifluous in its language.
Now I know I have read the Histories completely out of order, so perhaps if I had read this one in it's proper place (instead of very last, but I couldn't find it anywhere!) I would have appreciated it more. That said, I did like this play, it just isn't one of my favorites. Neither is it one that I loathe, it's fairly solidly in the middle.

Right, so the play itself focuses on the titular Edward III of England, during whose reign the Scots were revolting (no, not that kind of revolting, the rev

I read this once before in The Disputed Plays... It is a awkward play in that there is no dialogue as such. All the characters make speeches. It must have made performance very stilted. I'm not wonkish enough to have an expert opinion on the play's authorship. I accept it's S's. Acts I and II crackle with sexual tension and would be exciting to perform. The rest of the play loses considerable energy and would be hard to keep an audience engaged in, although there are enough speeches to stoke up ...more
It was not what I expected. Although, to be fair to Billy, what I was expecting was a horrible Pericles-esque thing (I did not like Pericles). This was surprisingly good--I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not Hamlet or Henry VI pt. 3 good. But it's good.

You can read all of my feelings in my full review, at
Nicholas Whyte
"[return][return]It's actually a play of two very distinct halves. The first two acts concern Edward III's attempts to seduce the Countess of Salisbury, which she successfully repulses; Acts III-V cover the Black Prince's campaigns in France, including the Battle of Cr
I'm ready to believe this play is by Shakespeare; it is nicely readable with moments of grand poetry echoing other plays by his (there is a despised prophecy about a battle defeat, similar to the one in Macbeth, for example)Some parts of the play are a bit weak but even they echo the weak parts of early plays like Henry VI. Beautiful and worthy of being in the canon.
Mike Jensen
Honestly, this is a stupid edition of the play that tries and fails to make the case that Shakespeare was the sole author. I'd feel embarrassed for editor and essayist Eric Sams, except that he is so damn annoying. He has also passed away, and so he is past embarrassment. Read this edition for the play if you must, but you can do better.
Shakespeare gets real revved up when he starts talking about death, but the perfectly good exploits of Edward III didn't seem to have done much for him. Sick freak.
Less pathetic infighting. The English kick lame French toches, making this much better PR for the English crown -- Shakespeare's indirect employer.
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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