A Summary of William Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' Part 1

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Henry IV, Part 1 William Shakespeare is considered the most important playwright of the European Renaissance, if not the most important of all time. Each character in his collected works is uniquely defined and highly memorable. In Henry IV, Part I, Shakespeare writes about the struggle for the control of England during the time of the title king. Everything is in turmoil following his ascension to the throne and his legacy is in question because of the perceived personality of his successor to the crown. Not only does he endeavor to maintain his control of the throne, but also vying are his son Hal who wants to takeover after his father and the rival Hotspur who wants it for himself but also is representative of an entire faction of people who want to rebel against Henry IV and do not feel loyal to him. Each of these men believes himself to be rightfully entitled to become the king and this is a major theme that play out throughout the play, namely what it means to be worthy of the title King of England; being king is far more than a matter of luxury and power, it is a burden that only worthy men should be allowed to undertake. For the current ruler of England, King Henry IV, he believes himself entitled because of what he was willing to do in order to obtain the throne. The former king, Richard II, was murdered and his chosen heir passed over by the zealous Henry. This perception of him as a usurper of the throne spreads out to those who had once supported him. Hotspur

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