An Analysis of Shakespeare's 'Henry IV Part 1'

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One of the most appealing elements of Shakespeare's works is that, despite subject matter that is hardly realistic in today's general society, the heart of each play retains much in terms of human relationships, central conflicts, and humor. For the scholar the sheer poetry and beauty of Shakespeare's language remain appealing. Hence, in a play like Henry IV, Part 1, the subject matter of royalty and civil war from an interesting and dramatic backdrop to more common themes like the conflicts between personal affection and the duties a person such as Prince Harry is expected to fulfill. As such, Harry's person affection for Falstaff is ultimately overridden by his drive to regain the admiration and affection of his father in the name of his concept of "honor" not only to the palace, but also to England as a whole. As such, Harry claims that his affection for Falstaff and his roguish world was simply appearance in order to more prominently return to the world of duty that he knows is his right and destiny, which could, in today's terms, be viewed as ultimately dishonorable. When the play opens, the young Prince Harry's major relationship is with the old and fat knight, Sir Falstaff. The knight, however, is hardly representative of any type of knighthood that might be expected from a person of the order. Instead, he is representative of the world of the tavern, where thieves and generally lower-class members of society gather and pass the time either with idle chatter or
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