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TOPIC: Henry IV part I

Henry IV part I 6 years 10 months ago #1529

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Why have several lines from Henry IV part I becomew famous? I didn't know any of the lines were famous, please help.
Also, I came up with honor and trust being two significant issues in Henry IV part I. Any other ideas anyone?

Also what evidence have you found that Shakespeare sees Prince Hal as a crafty exploiter of Falstaff and Englishmen in general?

What evidence is there that Shakespeare is preparing Hal to become the future model King Henry?

What does Shakespeare accomplish by adding humor to the play?
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Henry IV part I 6 years 10 months ago #1535

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It has been brought to my attention that my posts seem like I am wanting my homework done for me. I just want to let other users know that I am not wanting my homework done for me! I am a home schooled student and I am just trying to get a discussion going on some of the questions I am given to think about and analyzie after each play. I have my own opinion and would just like to hear someone elses opinion and hopefully be able to have a meaningful discussion that allows us all to think about what Shakespeare wanted his audience to learn. I am also looking to enrich my learning experience while studing Shakespeare. So if anyone would like to reply I will post again so we can start a discussion, as you will bounce ideas off eachother.
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Henry IV part I 6 years 10 months ago #1542

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Here is what i have been able to come up with
Honor and trust, in my opinion, are the two most significant issues Shakespeare is asking his audience to wrestle with. Trust is significant because the breach in trust is what began the wars to begin with.Trust is significant between many of the characters in this play. trust is why a war must be fought rather than a simple comprimise. Trust is relevent today because we need to feel lie we can trust our leaders (mostly politicians today which, we know can't be trusted). Today citizens of whatever country need to feel like they can put their trust in the leaders. Considering the situation in the U.S. right now we see how significant trust really is, especially in today's world, with all the technology and other modern warfare techniques (WMD's, biochemical threats). Any one find any issues they feel are more significant in Henry IV, part I??

I think Shakespeare wants us to see Hal as a crafty exploiter. Act 2.4 has the most evidence of Hal's craftiness. We see how Hal creates humor by twisting the words of commoners. Hal makes puns at almost everything Falstaff says and Falstaff is obviously there as Hal's jester, his entertainment.
Anyone have other evidence/ ideas about why Shakespeare wants the audience to see Hal as an exploiter??

The evidence I have found that Shakespeare is preparing Hal to be recieved as the model future king Henry is the drastic shift in Hal's attitude throughout the play. He is playful, childish, and likes to waste his time with his group of misfit robber friends. Hal then says that was his plan all along: he wanted to lower peoples expectaions of him. By the end of the play Hal has gone through a major transformation, he has shown courage and bravery, and he has won the love of his father. Any other opinions??

I think Shakespeare added humor to the play to entertain the audience while trying to get them to understand and think about other very serious issues of the time which many of are still relevent today. Any other ideas why Shakespeare adds humor to his play?? I know why in the tradgedies (to bring light into an otherwise somber play)

I didn't realize any lines from this paly are famous. So i obiously have no idea why they have become famous. Why?? Ideas anyone
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Henry IV part I 6 years 10 months ago #1546

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I, for one, have been interested n the subjects of your posts - but it takes a bit of time for some of us to respond: The questions are fine :)

All comes to s/he who waits. :roll:
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Henry IV part I 6 years 9 months ago #1547

HIV Part 1 has always been my favorite Shakespeare play. Fell in love with it (the whole Harry tetralogy, really) during my sophomore year in college. My favorite lines come from Hal at the end of 1.2:

I'll so offend to make offense a skill, / Redeeming time when men think least I will. (1.2.209-10)

A running theme for Hal throughout the Harry tetralogy is redemption. It plays a huge role in Henry V after his ascension to the throne. Think about the beginning of HIV P1. Look at the first lines of the play. I always suggest students look at the first lines of all his plays, as Shakespeare tends to set the tone and theme of the play right from the start.

Henry IV: So shaken as we are, so wan with care. (1.1.1)

King Henry IV speaks of the civil wars within his kingdom. Think of England as shaking. As quaking. As breaking apart. Then look at the doubling of this theme within King Henry himself. In Richard II, Henry IV -- then Henry Bolingbroke -- usurped the then King Richard II (Bolingbroke's cousin) and then had him put to death. Not only did Bolingbroke commit regicide -- considered an act against God, as the king or queen is said to be ordained by God, himself -- but he committed parricide by killing a member of his family. In the beginning of HIV P1, the king is wracked with guilt; he is frightened. He is nearing the end of his days and begins looking back on his actions, perhaps connecting the shaken nature of the state with his own human nature.

In Henry V, we'll find that Hal has redeemed himself, at least insofar as the courtly public is concerned. He, himself, still battles with the burden of both the crown and the bloody actions passed down by his father, most notable in his soliloquy at the end of 4.1. In HIV P1, Hal prepares for his redemption. His spends a good deal of time before and during the play drinking, whoring, and fraternizing with ruffians. He is a disgrace to his father. But in his first soliloquy at the end of 1.2, Hal lets us know that his cavorting and carousing is all part of his plan. Among other interpretations, he will hang out with the commoners and spend time in the dark corners of the town in order to shine all the more when he emerges as the King of England. He will "imitate the sun." He will shine as bright as the sun (think about Vernon's description of Hal riding into battle at 4.1.97-110, and with that, he will imitate the "son," as in be more like the son of a king. He is not thrilled by his duty, calling it a "debt I never promised," but he undertakes the heavy burden of the crown, nonetheless, and redeems time when it is time, and in his own time.

Chew on that and let me know your thoughts.
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Henry IV part I 6 years 9 months ago #1549

kelcb22 wrote:
It has been brought to my attention that my posts seem like I am wanting my homework done for me. I just want to let other users know that I am not wanting my homework done for me!

I must be in the same correspondence class as you or whoever it is that's picking your materials must be stealing them from the class I'm in because you have the exact study questions I have.
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Henry IV part I 6 years 9 months ago #1553

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I see what you are saying about the shaken England also doubling for the theme of King Henry's character. I hadn't thought of it like that. I'm not quite sure what to think of Hal's character, on one hand I see a philandering drunk who is friends with all kinds of unsavory characters. On the other hand you have the Redeemed prince Hal who wants his father's blessing in his actions and desperatly seeks his father's approval. I also wonder about Hal's intentions, especially when it comes to Falstaff. Hal treats Falstaff like a fool, he is Hal's entertainment. He claims to "love" him and that he is a good friend, then why is he so mean to Falstaff. He talks to him like a servant, makes fun of his girth and anything else he can find to tease him about, he plays mean jokes on him and then makes a fool out of him all over again. I also wonder about his intentions when befriending the "commoners" or "ruffians",
Is Hal trying to be like a common person, is he trying to escape what his father had done to Richard by not acting like a person of noble blood, is he just being a kid and trying to get it out of his system, or was it really his intention to lower peoples expectations of his actions. Also if it was Hal's intention to lower others people's expectations of himself, why dishonor your family in the process, especially because the belief in natural order and fulfilling one's filial obligations. As the first in line to the throne, he knew what was expected of him and went about his buisness with utter disregard for his obligation to his family and his country. Yes he seems to redeem himself in battle but how can you trust someone who's prior actions show complete disregard for the natural order and filial obligations and who's father usurped King Richard and then had him killed, committing two other sins in the process regicide and parricide. How can Hal become a model monarch with such a checkered family and personal history, considering the beliefs held by most during the time, how could he be trusted? Thoughts, commets, or suggestions?
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