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Henry IV, Part 1 (Wars of the Roses #2)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  20,413 Ratings  ·  779 Reviews
Family relationships are at the center of Henry IV, Part 1. King Henry IV and Prince Hal form one major father-son pair, with Henry in despair because Hal lives a dissolute life. The father-son pair of Hotspur (Lord Henry Percy) and his father, the Earl of Northumberland, is in seeming contrast; the king envies Northumberland “his Harry,” wishing he could claim the gallant ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Simon Schuster (first published 1597)
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Bill  Kerwin

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
Bookdragon Sean
How hard it must be to fight an enemy you admire; how hard it must be to realise your enemy is a stronger, and perhaps more worthy, man than your son, and how great it must be to realise that you are such a hypocritical fool, and that your son is more than you ever dreamed. But first, you must lament your heir to your advisors, clearly a great move:

Yea, there thou mak’st me sad and mak’st me sin
In envy that my Lord Northumberland
Should be the father to so blest a son—
A son who is the theme of
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
King Henry IV, Part 1 (Wars of the Roses, #2), William Shakespeare
Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV (two plays, including Henry IV, Part 2), and Henry V. Henry IV, Part 1 depicts a span of history that begins with Hotspur's battle at Homildon in Northumberland against Douglas late in 1402 and ends with the defeat of
...more
Darwin8u
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, shakespeare, drama
“O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil!”
― William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part 1

description

Falstaff!

Yes, I knew who he was. But until this year my exposure to Falstaff was mainly second-hand, through books that spoke of him. I hadn't touched any of Shakespeare's histories (I'm not counting Julius Caesar, etc., as a history) and so was surprised at just how much I liked this character. There are plays where the character and the play are equally matched (Othello, Hamlet, etc), but there ar
...more
Bradley
Still one of my most favorite histories, or at least part one of perhaps three. ;)

Our favorite wastrel, Prince Henry, Hal to his friends, a drunkard, a thief, the bosom buddy of dear fat old Falstaff, hides his bright sun behind vile clouds so as to shine all the brighter when his day finally arrives.

In here, of course, we establish the lout with a sharp mind and careful cunning, dissembling for all to see but careful of the long game. When his his father sore needs his son's aid, Hal comes to
...more
Trish
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second play about The Wars of the Roses and so massive in history, good ol' Will had to make two parts about this particular king!

Henry IV was Henry Bolingbroke, the one who deposed the old king, Richard II. Since then, he has not had a quiet reign. There are still those who want Richard back (funny, considering how many supported Henry because they were unsatisfied with Richard's way of doing things). How did kings usually solve such a problem? Right, with a crusade, what else?! But he face
...more
Alan
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taught this play many times in the 60's and 70's, when it was often the one Shakespeare play in a college Intro to Lit class: great play, but heavily male. After my study with two prominent women Shakespeareans (separate post-docs at Harvard and Breadloaf) I moved, for the sake of my largely female community college students, to stronger women characters in the comedies and, say, Measure for Measure.
But I still offhandedly quote from 1H4, say "If reasons were as plentiful as blackberries…"Falst
...more
Neil Walker
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It may not be immediately obvious to people, when reading something like Drug Gang, but William Shakespeare has been a major and important influence on my writing. As an author, I have taken on board a lot of lessons from Shakespeare in terms of structure, story and character arcs.

Henry IV, Part 1 has always been my favourite work of Shakespeare. Primarily, this is because of the gradual transformation that Prince Hal goes through. Also, Falstaff is an amazing character, providing plenty of comi
...more
Becky
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, theater
An absolutely brilliant and breathtaking work that is the perfect marriage of poetry, history, and wisdom. Falstaff may be one of the greatest creations of all literature, he is an astounding mix of hilarious wit, well-timed self-deprecation (or should we instead say, full of valour in discretion?), fervent loyalty (I feel the love-me-love-me-love-me need of a Golden Retriever here), and to top that off he stands as the ironic paradigm for honor and knighthood. From what we really know about kni ...more
David Sarkies
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
A prince gone wild
22 February 2013

Thank God for Youtube. As I have said before reading a Shakespearian play that I have not seen on either stage or screen can be a difficult task at best. In fact reading any play that I have not seen on stage or screen can be difficult, since they are generally not meant to be read but performed. The printed plays seem to supplement the performances rather than to take their place, so when I came to read this play I searched Youtube and discovered that the BBC
...more
Marquise
This must be one of Shakespeare's best historical dramas, although there's a lot that's invented for dramatic effect; the Bard can never be taken as very historically correct, for he's first and foremost a playwright. The fairly simple plotline following the major points of the reign of the first Lancastrian king is enlivened by the inclusion of what should be Will's most comical character, Sir John Falstaff, bon vivant par excellence, who often steals stage from Prince Hal with his antics, rogu ...more
Cindy Rollins
Having just watched The Hollow Crown, this play was much easier to listen to. The audio alone can be quite confusing, but a familiarity with the play helps. I love this whole cycle of plays. Shakespeare's ability to mix pathos and humor hits its stride in this cycle of plays.

The Arkangel recording is excellent, as expected.
Dave Cullen
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this play, and this edition. It's captivating and insightful, and I'm reading right after finishing "The Plantagenets," which I also recommend, and which teed it up nicely. (That book ends with Henry IV deposing Richard II, leading directly to the situation this play depicts.)

One problem with reading the history of the English kings is their stories tend to blur together after while. I've always been able to keep Henry II straight, because I watched "The Lion in Winter" 20 years ago, and
...more
Manab
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play, favourites-2017
বাঁধাই করানো পেপারবযাক, পরায় ষাইট বছর বয়স, ভূমিকাটা ভালো, গত চারশো বছরের মঞচায়নের ইতিহাস ভেতরে দেয়া থাকলে আরো ভালো লাগতো।

নাটকটা ভালোই বলতে হবে।
ফলসটাফরে অতিমূলযায়ন করা হইছে, এমনটা বলা সমভব, খুবই সমভব, কিনতু কিছু মূলয তারে না দিয়ে যাওয়া যায় না। মূলয দিতে হয় গলেনডাওয়াররেও, মাতর এক দৃশযে ঘুরে গিয়ে সে যা দেখায়। এই নাটকটা শেকসপীয়রের টরাজেডিগুলার চেয়ে অনেক কম নযায়পরবণ বলেই মনে হইলো, চরিতরগুলির পতনের পেছনে কোনো নৈতিক কারণ দেখা গেলো না, হটসপুরের মৃতযু হইতেই হইত এমনটা না, তার জায়গায় হযাল মরলে নাটকের সিকুয়
...more
Liam
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty good!!

The story was well developed and I felt like the characters all had a level of depth to them that you quite often don't see in Shakespeare so that was really nice to see!

The fact I enjoy the history behind the story makes it even more enjoyable!
Xueting
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
Prince Hal keeps surprising me. Now I'm ready to watch Tom Hiddleston amaze me in the role!!
Ken Moten
"Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere." Act V scene 4.

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 it 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 enc
...more
Jim
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, shakespeare, plays
Of course, five stars! It's William Shakespeare, after all. I love re-reading the plays just to enjoy the richness of the Bard's language.

Although a history play, King Henry IV, Part 1 is as much a character study of Prince Hal and Falstaff. The eponymous king is more in the background, fighting a rebellion by Hotspur, Douglas, Owen Glendower, and Worcester -- to name just a few. He knows his hold on the crown is tenuous: When he killed Richard II, he made a lot of promises which he had been sl
...more
Trevor
Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, literature
I reviewed Richard II in January and decided at the time I would review all of the four plays in the series. A mere six months later I’m up to the second play – how hopeless is that? I intend to get through the next couple in what will seem (in comparison at any rate) to be me zipping along at a rate of knots.

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
Rhonda
I had a wonderful professor as an undergraduate who transferred his lifelong love of Shakespeare to me, no small task considering how wildly rebellious and impatient I was with things that were difficult. While the author's language has always been beyond reproach, I have only to look at my weathered volume of the Collected Works to see some of the comments I had made and realize that I had allowed something notable, from time to time, to slip past me.

This time, I downloaded a new copy and bega
...more
Alex
Jul 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, farts
Another great one! If I remember right, the second part of Henry IV is not as great...I'll have to kinda slog through it on my way to Henry V, which at this point is like having sex with your wife. Henry V, not slogging through 2 Henry IV, I mean. I've read Henry V like fifty times and seen the movie at least five - my mom really liked that thing. That and Amadeus. Remember back when VCRs were for watching old movies instead of new ones? ("No, because I'm not a million years old like you." "Get ...more
Melora
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Four and a half stars, if only I could. The beginning dragged for me, Act 1 and the first part of Act 2, particularly. I can't stand Falstaff Or the way the Prince treats Falstaff. And I find his self justification, the business about how he'll shine brighter because he's been rolling about in the mud (something like that) utterly pathetic. BUT, then things pick up! Hotspur is a hoot, especially his tirade about what a bore Glendower is (Act 3, Scene 1), and Prince Hal improves greatly once he d ...more
Roy Lotz
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Shakespeare’s histories that I’ve read, and it was great. For some reason, I suspected that Shakespeare’s histories would be inferior to his comedies and tragedies. Maybe it’s because they’re much less talked about. But this play is the equal of many of its better-known brethren. Falstaff is one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedic creations, and Hotspur one of his most compelling antagonists. But what’s most impressive about this play is how fantastically alive it is. War, lov ...more
Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
I've always found it very odd that this play is about Henry IV. Because it's really not. When you read it (or watch it or listen to it), it doesn't read as Henry IV. It's basically the overly long prequel to Henry V. And Henry V is a huge person for medieval England. He had all of these battles and won them and was amazing. All the kings wanted to be him, or be like him. Probably not die like he did, but that's another story.

So, Prince Hal, as he's called in this play, steals the show. This is t
...more
Liv (Stories For Coffee)
ACTUAL RATING: 3.5
Hayden
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Again....I prefer seeing the history plays performed over reading them.
Marija
Who knew that Shakespeare was the man who penned the first episode of Doctor Who with his creation of the character Falstaff! Falstaff is a man who can travel all of time and space, visiting anything that ever happened or ever will. Where can we start?

Falstaff makes his first appearance in this play, which takes place around 1402-03, landing in the midst of the historical battles of Humbleton Hill and Shrewsbury. He supposedly stays around, making a further appearance in this play’s sequel, Hen
...more
Perry Whitford
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Henry Bolingbroke became Henry VI by stealing the crown with force when Richard's attentions were elsewhere in Ireland, but as Shakespeare opens up his two-part history, Henry wants to forswear conflict in England:

'No more the thirsty entrance of this soil
Shall daub her lips from her own children's blood;
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces.'


Oh, if only it were that easy! Immediately Henry finds himself a monarch at war as a
...more
Nurul
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as I did with Richard II, I read this while watching The Hollow Crown: King Henry IV, Part 1 (2012), starring Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beale (who shone the brightest as Falstaff imo). They were both tremendous -- I very much enjoyed both reading the play AND watching the film.

My favourite passage has to be this one in particular:

(view spoiler)
...more
Allie
Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
"Ah, whoreson caterpillars, bacon-fed knaves!"
I'm not really enjoying the history plays, but this line was enough for me to like this one.
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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Other books in the series

Wars of the Roses (8 books)
  • Richard II
  • Henry IV, Part 2 (Wars of the Roses, #3)
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, Part 1
  • King Henry VI, Part 2
  • King Henry VI, Part 3
  • Richard III

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“[Thou] mad mustachio purple-hued maltworms!” 209 likes
“I know you all, and will awhile uphold
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.”
46 likes
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