Essay about Shakespeare - Henry Iv Part 1

832 Words May 16th, 2013 4 Pages
Shakespeare successfully establishes the nature of honour in his historical living production Henry IV Part 1. The play embarks around the subject of honorable rebellion, primarily through the duality of the two characters of Prince Harry (Hal) and King Henry IV as well as Hotspur and Falstaff. Through different concepts of the major universal theme of honour displayed by various protagonists, the interrelated ideas of power and responsibility are also made evident. As this play unfolds, the importance of the soliloquy’s, issues and conflicts are highlighted. Honour is encapsulated from success on the battlefield to dealing with noble and respectable behaviour. Shakespeare captures the essence of a historical tragedy and
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This in turn identifies Hotspur’s actions as being more ethical. The nature of honour can be presented as the main concept throughout Shakespeare’s play because it is seen differently by each character; physical or abstract.
(Act 1 Scene 2) A sense of reformation requires steps along the way. Prince Harry reveals that Honour is associated with noble behaviour and he is willing to sacrifice the appearance of honour at will. His conception of honour is all inclusive and he believes by killing Hotspur, Hotspur’s honour will become his own. Hal’s soliloquy creates dramatic irony through the visual conceit used to describe the reformation of him. Hal puns on his status as the king's "son" who stands to inherit the crown. The symbolism of ‘sun’ and ‘son’ depict loyalty and obedience ad represents the king and his reign. Harry and Henry use an image of the sun obscured by clouds to describe themselves. Harry describes his reformation as being like the sun’s appearance from behind ‘contagious clouds’ or like a ‘sullen ground’ and Henry “Such as is bent on sun-like majesty”. For King Henry, the clouds that blur his light come from his own doubts about the legitimacy of his reign. For Harry, these clouds are the shades of his immaturity and initial refusal to accept and adopt his noble responsibilities. Having accepted his royal duties, Harry can anticipate shining through these clouds and radiating his full regal

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