King Henry IV, part 1 (Wars of the Roses)
A play alive with escapades and action, comedy and history, Henry IV, Part One begins the transformation of the madcap Prince Hal into the splendid ruler King Henry. In it a rebellion against King and State is juxtaposed with another rebellion–the riotous misbehavior of Hal and his companions, principally Falstaff. A superbly funny liar, coward, lecher, and cheat, the larg...more
But not in this play. As truly painful as he can...more
I have read this play many times, and--although Shakespeare always shows me something new--this reading gave me little insight and few surprises. I was struck with two parallels, however--one within the play itself, and one within Shakespeare's body of work.
First of all, I appreciated the subtle parallels between the Hotspur-Glendower and the Hal-Falstaff scenes. Each young man spends much of his time needling a self-important, older man who is such a windbag that the audience is almost automat...more
This is a story of 2 (3(4)) people. I really am out of my element analyzing this because it is a complete play about half of a story. Can't really say if Henry IV, Part 2 is a sequel though I suspect is not. I will give my best summary of events so far.
This play again is a story of relationships in an ever shrinking geometric shape. We begin with the title character (one would do good to remember Richard II and Henry IV last encoun...more
Everyone thinks being a king is the most fortunate thing in the world. But is that true? Well, King Henry the Fourth was the king of England and he eventually had a lot of worries...
Henry the Fourth is a fiction written by Shakespeare. King Henry has three sons: Thomas, John, and Wales. It sounds good but only if there is no Hotspur, Duke Northenbrant’s son. As a young general who always win all the battle, Duke is sup...more
My favourite passage has to be this one in particular:
'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay him before...more
his day. What need I be so forward with him that
calls not on me? Well, 'ti
I had to read this in high school – so thought I would be more familiar with it than it turns out that I am. There were things I remember very well – Falstaff’s ‘honour’ speech and Hal’s so...more
The play opens on Henry IV, who in his youth de-throned Richard II. Henry IV is now aging and faced with a band of rebels who may have legitimate grievances but are so disorganized it's a wonder their army forms a united front and not 100 million fistfights. Henry hasn't lost a covetous part of himself - h...more
This tremendous play manages to encompass just about everything – tragedy, comedy, high life, low life, heroism, criminality, rebellion, battlefield, palace, tavern. And the variety of character is almost as wide – not only, and most obviously, in the key roles of Hotspur, Hal, Falstaff and the King, but also in the minor parts. The various nobles embroiled in their lethal game of political intrigue are entirely distinct personalities.
Best things about 1H4 are the comedy (funnier than in most of...more
This play seemed logical to follow Richard II, as it does historically. Turns out though that Shakespeare wrote two other plays between Richard II and Henry IV,...more
I liked Harry from the beginning, but I don't...more
This other, scarcely recogni...more
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The unyoked humour of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they seldom come, they wished-for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So, when this loose behaviour I throw off
And pay the debt I never promisèd,
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes;
And like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault,
Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I’ll so offend to make offence a skill,
Redeeming time when men think least I will.”