Free «Shakespeare Henry IV» Essay Sample


Shakespeare Henry IV (Part1) was about real individuals and events that took place from history. There individuals chosen were from royal places of Lancaster and York. The different realms do have an instance where they impact in the play, the first was that of newly appointed king Henry IV, as well as the advisor and the second realm relates to the revelers who have their nights drinking at the bars such as the east. In order to,  finish a gap between the two, whereby royalty travels in the company of Falstaff, not forgetting the regulars who were at the Head Tavern.

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On the other hand, who really does so, considering part of the unique plan for preparation in for ascension to the throne. The title of the play may be Henry IV, but relies on the ability to play a small character in the drama. The major role of King Henry in the scenes rely on personality of one who takes a crown that is not his by right of inheritance or right.


We find that King Henry is shrewd in a political aspect; thus, he is the opposite of Richard. He also has most of the attributes of a great dictator; however, this was not enough. He would in turn become the king and had uneventful rule. On the other hand, Henry IV goes to the throne illegitimately as a rogue monarch. He does not have the Divine Right of Kings and, moreover, he is responsible for the death of God's anointed Richard.  Allowing for these factors, the ability of the king to rule is put down, and instability haunts England. Prince Hal has proven that he is the unlikely and humble hero in the story, relating to the humility and simplicity that he possesses.

This proves that he is worthy of leading men into battle because he can relate to their lives even when they return to their everyday existence.  However, was more than just colorful as was Hotspur. They were entertaining; however they exist to show of the benefits of Hal. Falstaff, is a failed man with little ambition, and lives in the reality that Hal must also show that he is ready to understand the future subjects. The first meeting with Falstaff, makes Hal view of the petty criminal and comrades very clear: "I have known you all, and will uphold/ the humor (quality on something that makes it funny or amusing-OED), of your idleness" (2.2).

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The cowardly Falstaff represents the level of society that is full of fainthearted people, and their collective lack of morals and honor" (great respect and admiration for same body-OED) contribute to the decay of society. Hotspur is the catalyst that relates to Hal's actions. The climax is a preparation for the throne goes to embrace his fate as a rival to Hotspur and fights him on the battlefield.

Hotspur, who is also known for bravery but flawed in his excessive commitment to honor, which represents the level of society that has temperamental hotheads will throw the country in a chaos pursuit of lofty ideals. Honor may indeed be of great importance throughout a play.  In the play of King Henry, Shakespeare shows some concepts of honor through characters Hotspur such as Hal and Falstaff. Hotspur's obsession with honorable titles and Falstaff's lack of honor use examination for their own sake, it becomes evident the primary function in the play is to show that Prince Hal can balance that the two extremes are evident in those individuals around himself, a lesson he seems to learn and take up with no difficulties whatsoever. Although there are many flaws in Hotspur's concept of honor, Shakespeare does present a nobility towards one’s honor that is admirable to Prince Hal, who proclaims "This earth, that bears thee dead/Bears not alive so stout a gentleman" (5.3.92-93). Hotspur becomes brave and fair to the code of honor is not formed out of the desire for power.

Hotspur uses the pursuit in the following passage: O gentleman, the time of life is short! If life did ride upon a dial's point, still ending at the arrival of an hour. And we have to live, we live to tread on kings; if we have to die, brave death, when princes die with us! Now for our consciences, the arms are fair, If Hotspur becomes a symbol of honor, and then Falstaff, with his lack of commitment for the whole concept of honor, becomes a contrast. Then it is obvious when we encountering Falstaff in the tavern that he rejects the standard actions that make him honorable" (deserving respect and admiration-OED) man. He is a thief and is not ashamed to admit it (4.2.107-108).

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Falstaff concerned with self-preservation and has difficulty understanding how others could place honor before their own lives: Yes, but how if honor prick me not when I come on? How can it then? Is there a way honor sets to a leg? No or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No honor hath any skill in surgery then? No. What is honor? How can we say that a word is honorable (5.1.130) the lack of honor is shown repeatedly at Shrewsbury? Falstaff is a shrewd man and the code of honor is considered as appetites a danger to a soldier's valor.

(Council, 41) Whetstone, in his Honorable Reputation considering the military says that 'When the body is stuffed with delicate, the mind is dull, and desirous of ease, which is the under of a Soldier...’ The illustration of Falstaff's disregard for honor shows that he feigns death upon being challenged to fight by Douglas. What proves Falstaff is not an honorable man is the decision to take credit for the killing of Hotspur: ... and I will swear I killed him ... nobody sees me. Therefore, sirrah, with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me. (5.3.125-129).

In general we can conclude that Hotspur is depicted positively shows positively as a negative part of the play. Conclusion, Hal is an all-rounded man, able to find honor in a tavern as well as on a battlefield. This is the sort of man to be comfortable in whichever situation and be content with the happiness that he found through a moderate existence he has the honor to possess instinctual honor that is moderate and reasonable. 'Hal seems by comparison [to Hotspur] to be rational, clear-headed, and flexible, capable of fierceness and determination when these qualities are called for, but not in a state of perpetual aggression' (Paris 76).

This is the kind of personality fit in the position allotted especially that of a leader. Hal is consorting with the crows to serve two purposes.  Is also depicts that Hal values the honor given in everyday experiences and associations with the common folk of the realm. He proves simplicity and a humble personality capable of relating with all forms of life. This realization is finds an ability to relate to the men while he is their friend in alcohol, which enables men to relate to Hal better if the time comes when he must lead them into battle. The position of military leader, thus, suits him quite well in this way.

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