Essay on William Shakespeare 's Henry Iv

1382 Words Oct 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II concludes the father-son conflict between Henry IV and Prince Hal, the heir to the English throne. With the backdrop of the latter part of King Henry IV’s reign, Henry IV continues to worry that his rowdy son, Prince Hal, will undo all the work he had done thus far. In addition to that, Henry IV struggles with his guilt of forcibly taking the throne from Richard II. Prince Hal, meanwhile, plans his grand reformation, while he continues to coarsely mingle with the likes of John Falstaff, Ned Poins, and others. This conflict comes to its head in Act IV. Prince Hal volunteers to attend to his ailing father, and, upon thinking him dead, takes the crown up from his father’s pillow and exits thinking the royal burden now his to bear. Upon waking, Henry IV frets about his crown, and, hearing of his son’s actions, notes to his other sons how ambition destroys virtue, especially filial duty. Prince Hal reenters, as Earl Warwick, supporting the prince’s intentions, brings him to the king. After Henry IV dismisses everyone else from the room, Hal inadvertently confesses, “I never thought to hear you speak again” (4.5.94). This statement, not particularly calculated, raises his father’s tempers. With bitterness, Henry IV responds, “Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought: I stay too long by thee, I weary thee” (4.5.95-96). In the plot structure, this monologue sits in the complication portion, where Prince Hal gets caught trying on the crown…

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