Analysis Of Act V Scene Iv Of

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Analysis Of Act V, Scene Iv Of Shakespeare’s Henry Iv Essay, Research Paper One of the most important aspects of 1 Henry IV is the development and transgressions of Hal who is the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne. The play’s focus on the family reminds us that the struggles England endured through its growth were largely struggles inside the royal family. Hal’s character is at a point where he is unable to define who he will be; a responsible part of the monarch, as his father would like to see, or a rogue as is John Falstaff. Throughout the play the prince keeps company with Falstaff, who is indeed a knight but hardly acts as one would hope. He lies, robs travellers and frequents the bar and whorehouse owned by Mistress Quickly. By scene iv of the fifth act it is

clear that the Prince will fulfil his role and embrace his noble birth by standing with his father to fight against the rebels. At the end of the battle Hal makes it clear to himself but also to Falstaff that he will no longer be amongst his clan of rabble rousers. Undoubtedly Prince Hal is a noble character on a small scale and as early on as the second scene in the first act he is hinting at his uncertainties about his role in the state. He states: “So when this loose behavior I throw off / and pay the debt I never promised?” In this “loose behavior” refers to his dealing with Falstaff and the low life of the tavern and the “debt” he “never promised” is upholding the lineage of the monarchy. However, it is not until the battle when Hal puts his selfish, albeit

true, loyalty behind him and defends his father who is being attacked by Douglas. Although he does not kill Douglas, Hal shows that he has become a man of honour and dignity. His father recognises this: “In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me?some tender of my life.” This shows that Hal’s decision to change is outwardly apparent to others, but most importantly, to his father. Another aspect of Hal’s commitment to change can be seen in the lines that Shakespeare has given him. Most of the audience members would already be well acquainted with the story of Henry IV so it was especially important that the language be varied and colorful enough to keep the audience interested. In Act V, scene iv Hal is given lines that seem extraordinarily defiant but masking an internal

struggle. Hotspur If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth. Prince Thou speak’st as if I would deny my name. Hotspur My name is Harry Percy. Prince Why, then I see A very valiant rebel of the name. I am the Prince of Wales; and think not, Percy, To share with me in glory any more. Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere; The Prince, rather than hastily disregarding his former ways, still holds respect for Hotspur even though it is apparent by this time that he will defeat the rebel as he promised his father. Hal speaks respectfully towards Hotspur but proclaims that he will no more “deny [his] name” as he has done up until this point in regards to his duty. This shows the audience that he has come to terms with his identity. Hal?s use of language throughout the scene

further expresses his acceptance of rank. Until this scene, Hal has spoken in verse only in the company of other nobility and in prose when with his friends in the tavern. The shift in his method of speech reveals to the audience that Hal felt he could move between the two spheres of society, between his father and Falstaff without having to have a static identity. His acceptance of his place in society can be seen in that he decides, for the first time, to speak in verse when addressing Falstaff: “I prithee, speak; we will not trust our eyes Without our ears: thou art not what thou seem?st.? . Shakespeare makes Hal’s transgressions all the more important because it takes place during the first time that all the characters, from both the palace and the tavern, are in the same