Shakespeare Henry IV
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Shakespeare Henry IV
In Shakespeare's novel Henry IV Part 1, the concept of war is portrayed through different individuals. Each character perceives war differently, leading them to take independent actions. In this era, war was not perceived as a final solution to all their problems, but as a common event between rulers. To die for ones' country was viewed as an act of honor, although, a certain individual disfavored this act of honor. Throughout the novel, Shakespeare's attitude reveals the unnaturalness of civil war, but also ties relationships together.
Shakespeare portrays that the role of being a king, and obtaining power, could be played by anyone with the right appearance and behavior. According to King Henry, Hotspur (Lord Henry Percy) is "the theme of honor's tongue," (1.1.80) implying that he is the ideal example of being an honorable king, unlike his son, Prince Hal, who spends majority of his time at the tavern. King Henry and Sir Walter Blunt agree that Hotspur would be the appropriate king of France because of his bravery, successfulness in battles and his time spent with royalty. Although, Hotspur and his father, Earl of Northumberland, and his uncle, Earl of Worcester, plan to overthrow the king by defeating his army on the battlefield. Hotspur explains to his army how the king rejected and shamed his family.
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In Henry V, Shakespeare clearly shows that powerful speech and eloquent rhetoric is more effective in times of war than threat of sharp swords and numerous soldiers. King Henry V - the young and bright king of England - establishes himself as a devout leader to his country and his people. Throughout the story he demonstrates his ability to articulate in order to manipulate his audience, whether it be commoners, enemies, or friends. After an argument with the Dauphin of France over land claims, Henry gathers an army to invade French territory. Following a surprising march through the country against all odds, the king and his soldiers find themselves in a five to one battle, destined to fall defeated. The character of King Henry is exemplified
Henry V, a play narrating King Henry V’s journey to invading the French throne and take what is ‘rightfully’ his. The five act drama had been written by William Shakespeare, whose work had consisted of unrivalled plays and poems. This play, acts as a sequel to Henry IV, viewing Henry’s drastic growth from a reckless Prince to an unforgettable King. Like many other plays, Henry V consists of many major themes that shape the story; one being betrayal. This essay will further discuss the theme of betrayal and its impact on the play.
Hotspur on the other hand, begins the play in his father's good graces, and seems to represent the chivalry that eludes Hal. Indeed, Hotspur, being in charge of repelling the Scots to the North, has shown his fierceness in battle and has proven to be an accomplished military man, which are the qualities that the King wishes Hal possessed. Hotspur, however, has a temper which worries his father, Northumberland. In Act 1, Scene 3, he urges his son to be calmer: ìWhat, drunk with choler? stay and pause a while (I.iii.13),î and calls his son ìa wasp-stung and impatient foolî (I.iii.16). Northumberland is much more cautious than Hotspur, or Worcester, and
Honor is one of those concepts that is seldom defined. One’s reputation is based on his or her honor, integrity, honesty, and purity. William Shakespeare’s Henry IV is a one of his many plays that deal with the varying ideas of honor, as well as issues of courage, loyalty, and ambition, interposing examples of dishonor, weakness, and the deceitful plots among both the drunkards and noblemen. Shakespeare utilizes suggestive metaphors to create illusions, imagery, and to reinforce the different views of the major issues people were faced with in his time and in ours. His plays often focus on the imagery, either on some obvious important symbol, or some image pattern that recurs throughout the work. Readers are
Within the first act we immediately get to know Hotspur as Honorable and courageous, he is recognized as Henrys alternative son, this directly juxtaposes Henrys son Hal who lacks responsibility and willfully disregards his father. Hal has split loyalty between his father and his fake father figure Falstaff who is a fat jolly man. In Hals soliloquy he tells the readers that he will change his ignoble ways to be more like a true Prince. Hal becomes a symbol of modern commonwealth. “I will redeem all this on Percy’s head ….. When I will wear a garment all of blood, and stain my favors in a bloody mask”. This metaphor tells us honor is won with blood, this statement by the prince is ironic that you win honor with the blood of others. Hotspur deliberately attacks assuming to gain political leadership by killing the prince. “More active-valiant or more valiant-young, more daring or more bold, is now alive”, the repetition of More emphasizes how Hal believes Hotspur to be the soldier he is not by saying this Hal is showing traces of his father’s political acuity. “To save the blood on either side, try fortune with him in a single fight”. Hal volunteers to meet Hotspur in single hand to hand combat thus concluding the play with Hals succession in killing Hotspur and maintaining his political position. Yet powerful rebel forces still remain in
To examine Shakespeare’s exploration of identity as a means of control, it is important to understand what all constitutes each character’s identity. In the case of Henry, for one, it is apparent that the actions of his past alter his perceived identity throughout the play. Before Henry speaks his first lines in the play, the Bishop of Ely calls Henry a “true lover of the holy Church,” to which the Archbishop of Canterbury replies, “The courses of [Henry’s] youth promised it not” (1.1.23-24). This reckless reputation follows Henry further into the play when an ambassador from France delivers a message to Henry from the Dauphin: “…the prince our master says that you savor too much of your youth and bids you to be advised there’s naught in France that can be with a nimble galliard won: you cannot revel into dukedoms there” (1.2.250-254). Along with this message, the Dauphin included a gift of tennis balls meant to further insult Henry. Even later in the play, after the English won the battle at Harfleur, the noble Frenchmen continue to underestimate Henry’s ability as a leader: “What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King of England, to mope with his fat-brained followers so far out of his knowledge” (3.8.120-122).
The question that Shakespeare raises throughout the series of Henry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part II, and Henry V is that of whether Prince Hal (eventually King Henry V), is a true manifestation of an ideal ruler, and whether he is a rightful heir to his father’s ill-begotten throne. England is without a true king, being run by a ruler without the right of divine providence on his side– altogether, a very difficult situation for a young, inexperienced, and slightly delinquent Prince to take on. The task of proving himself a reliable Prince and a concerned ruler is of utmost importance to Hal, as he does not enjoy the mantle of divine right– perhaps by being an excellent ruler, Hal can make up for the
Shakespeare’s ‘King Henry IV Part I’ centres on a core theme of the conflict between order and disorder. Such conflict is brought to light by the use of many vehicles, including Hal’s inner conflict, the country’s political and social conflict, the conflict between the court world and the tavern world, and the conflicting moral values of characters from each of these worlds. This juxtaposition of certain values exists on many levels, and so is both a strikingly present and an underlying theme throughout the play. Through characterization Shakespeare explores moral conflict, and passage three is a prime example of Falstaff’s enduring moral disorder. By this stage in the play Hal has
King Henry V, is one of the only successful monarchs in Shakespeare’s plays. He displays great strength and intelligence. King Henry V is capable of uniting all of his people in his St. Crispin’s Day speech as they prepare to go to battle. The troops were greatly outnumbered and believed they had no chance at winning. But King Henry makes them feel like they are part of something important, and by doing this he motivates them to fight their hardest.
The King complains that ‘riot and dishonor’ stain the brow of his son whereas Hotspur is the theme of honor’s tongue (Wells 141). Henry uses the successes in war of Hotspur, "Mars in swaddling clothes," as a rod for Prince Hal’s back (Wells 143), accusing his son of being unfit to inherit the crown. To many critics, Hotspur is immensely attractive and rather comical in his impulsive impetuosity–"he that kills some six or seven dozen Scots for breakfast, washes his hands, and says to his wife, ‘Fie upon this quiet life, I want work’" (2.5.102-6). Yet, this commitment to bright honor is a dangerous obsession preoccupying Hotspur so much that he is blind to all else. To Hotspur the more dangerous and perilous a situation, the more desire he has to throw himself helplessly into it. To him there are no consequences; he sees no danger. All Hotspur can see is the possibility of achieving great honors– "Doomsday is near, die all, die merrily" (4.1.134). Hotspur’s life is no more than a military commitment; he desires only to gain future glory, whether he wins or loses, lives or dies.
William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1, composed during the last years of the 16th century, is as much as character study as it is a retelling of a moment in history. Though the play is titled for one king, it truly seems to revolve around the actions of the titular character's successor. Indeed, Henry IV is a story of the coming-of-age of Prince Hal and of the opposition that he must face in this evolution. This process gives narrative velocity to what is essentially a conflagration between two personality types. In Prince Hal, the audience is given a flawed but thoughtful individual. Equally flawed but more given over to action than thought is his former ally and now-nemesis, Hotspur. In the latter, Shakespeare offers a warrior and a man of action and in the former, the playwright shows a politician in his nascent stages of development. The contrast between them will drive the play's action.
"What is honor?" That question is one of the central themes from Shakespeare 's Henry IV. Throughout the play Shakespeare provides many different views of honor, but never directly states what honor is. Which makes sense because honor is a rather abstract concept that seems to vary depending on who states their opinion. There are some universal ideas of honorable deeds but the word itself is rarely defined by individuals. Two of the characters within the play have very different ideas of honor and vary greatly in their desire for it. They are Hotspur and Falstaff, Hotspur appears to have a very clear idea of what honor is and he pursues honor with great fervor. However, Falstaff questions the very existence of honor and has little to no desire for it. The ideas of Falstaff and Hotspur about honor are vastly different.
heir to the throne. The King realizes that to keep order, a ruler and his heir
In Shakespeare's Henry IV Part One, the characters' many different conceptions of honor govern how they respond to situations. Each character's conception of honor has a great impact on the character's standing after the play. For instance, Falstaff survived because he dishonorably faked his own death, and his untrue claim that he was the one who killed Hotspur may get him a title and land. On the other hand, Hotspur lies dead after losing a duel for honor. Hotspur, who is in many ways the ideal man by the standards of his time, is killed by his lust for honor. In creating Hotspur, Shakespeare has created a variation on the tragic hero of other works: the stubborn tragic hero, who, dying
Henry laments over the fact that Hal is not the son he would have liked, religiously alluding to the unruliness of his son that he has no control over is the punishment from God as a result of his usurpation of the throne. This religious allusion reflecting on Henry’s sins demonstrates the both the political power the King obtains, as he deposed the previous King, but also the powerlessness he has in correspondence to the Lord, and his own conscience. In addition, Henry use of the term “grafted” describes Prince Hal’s connection to Falstaff and the subsequent rejection of his more important blood relations and thus his role as the heir to the English throne. It can be argued that Hal purposely attempts to separate himself from the royal role that his father sets for him, understanding that his father usurped the Divine Right of Kings and thus sought the company of individuals that would successfully result in the disapproval of his father and the Royal Court. Hal finds companions in the rouges in which inhabit the Boar 's Head Inn and Eastcheap, including the thieving surrogate father Falstaff. However, while the two locations and companies are considered to differ starkly, Shakespeare successfully mirrors the separate destinations in first two scenes between the Royal Court and the “Rouge Court” found in the Boar’s Head Inn. Whilst the occupants are of the Inn are freely labelled as thieves, the occupants of the