Brian's Reviews > Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 by William Shakespeare
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's review
May 04, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: british-lit, shakespeare
Read in March, 2011

A necessary bridge between part one and Henry V, but lacks, in my opinion, a centrality of action. The play demonstrates the physically enfeebled Henry IV transferring power onto Henry V, as well as what happens to a remainder of dissidents, and seeks to create humorous scenes with Falstaff, but each of these are done moderately, in my opinion, not to an optimal degree, as we are used to with dear ole Shakey. The play nonetheless houses two of the most famous lines in literature, certainly among some of my favorite: "Heavy lies the head that wears a crown" (Henry IV, educating Hal on the responsibilities of kingship) and "We have heard the chimes at midnight" (Falstaff to Master Shallow, being nostalgic about their late-night forays into the realms of pleasure and mirth). Not a bad play, altogether (two stars means "it was OK"), but serves a purpose more than it does delight and entertain.

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