Delusions of Valor and the Repercussions on Conduct

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King Henry IV shows no compunction for voicing his distaste of his son, Hal’s, actions while praising the valor displayed by Sir Henry Percy, commonly known as Hotspur. Given his debaucherous behavior and residence in the tavern, Hal has disappointed his father to the point where he has lost his Council seat to his younger brother and the devotion of a father to his firstborn, an admiration instead directed to Hotspur for his military might. Expectations proved to be a force of delusion, as Hotspur believed that the King’s notions about his character gave him the cover to act dishonorably and Hal, as a hyper self-aware prince with a plan, distanced himself from the judgments of others in order to independently secure his own fate; thus,…show more content…
There is no force of evil, whether it be the devil or the monarchy from which the House of Percy intends to seize power, that Hotspur will allow to seize his prisoners. To categorize the same men he had just fought beside with Satan represents the lack of honor with which Hotspur conducts himself, the same brand of dishonor that caused him to spurn the King’s orders for Henry Percy to fulfill his obligation to the monarchy. Meanwhile, Hal does not allow his father’s negative perspective towards his conduct to alter his behavior. Scolded by his father at the palace for failing to adopt the same populist brand that led him to the throne, Hal commits not to change his deportment, but instead to remain positively bound to his long-term agenda: “I shall hereafter, my thrice gracious lord, / Be more myself.” (3.2.1915-1916). As seen in Hal’s “I know you all” soliloquy at the end of Act I, Scene 2, the Prince maintains a great sense of self-awareness, an acuity that allows him calculate long-term political objectives. Hal’s tavern-based life may carry the semblance of revelry when, in actuality, his lifestyle is merely a component of a greater stratagem in the game of monarchial power. Although Hal’s words may appear indignant to his father, as if he were declaring that he would continue behaving the way against which the King had just

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