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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Henry 4, Part 1 Characters

Worcester is an English nobleman, Northumberland’s brother and Hotspur’s uncle. 

Back in the reign of Richard II, it was his refusal to declare the returning Bolingbroke a traitor that sparked the general rebellion that led to the latter taking the throne as Henry IV. Worcester considers that he has never been properly regarded for what he did at the time and the good it did for the King, and fears that the fact that the King is indebted to him makes Henry IV dislike him. Though the King believes that Worcester sets his nephew Hotspur on, even the Earl thinks that the younger man is rather wild, and tries to calm him down, not to mention point out to him that he is often rather rude. Still, it is Worcester who forms the first plans for the rebellion. Wiser than Hotspur, he realizes that the absence of the young man’s father, Northumberland, will leave the rebels looking weaker than they are and cause doubts among their soldiers. He also knows that Hotspur is likely to take the King’s word about the possibility of forgiveness, and surrender; Worcester, more cautious, has no trust in either Henry IV or Hotspur’s good sense. He is captured after the battle, and executed.

 

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