The Concept Of War In Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 1

Decent Essays

Shakespeare Henry IV
Tiara Stewart-Todaro
Simon Fanning
603-101-MQ gr.00062
December 8,2017
Word count: 856

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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