An Analysis of Symbolism between a Father and his Son in William Shakespeare’s Play

An Analysis of Symbolism between a Father and his Son in William Shakespeare’s Play

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During the course of his plays, Shakespeare uses symbolism to portray his life, time period and messages he wants to get across to the audience. For example, many individuals in his time were not fond of his work and his response is used in his plays in the form of symbolism. Furthermore, symbolism is used to enhance the meaning of what is essentially being described. Moreover, Shakespeare utilizes symbolism in Henry IV, Part 1 to foreshadow the play and to guarantee that the Prince of Wales will shine like the sun and start a new era and become the new king like he was destined to be. However, Henry IV considers Hal not fit for court and Hal needs to change his mind by battling with his father in the Battle of Shrewsbury. Symbolism is constantly recurring throughout the play and is reminding the audience of the final phase where Hal turns into a king. In this play, symbolism of the sun and the moon are brought up continuously and are related directly to King Henry IV and the Prince of Wales because of their placement in court.
The sun is often seen as symbolism that represents power and authority. This is because the sun is argued to represent the king and his reign. King Henry is very much connected with the symbol of the sun with respect to his ability and inability as King. First, the clouds that blur King Henry’s light come from his own doubts about the legitimacy of his reign. King Henry gathered the court to discuss the battle while Worcester interrupted him and reminded him that “our own hands” (1.3.12) helped the king to become what he is now, but the king responded quickly and said, “O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory, /And majesty might never yet endure / The moody frontier of a servant brow. / You have go...

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...o benefit himself.
Prince Hal and King Henry are two altered people that can be symbolized correspondingly to the sun and the moon. Prince Hal shines like the sun and shows its beauty to the world. While, King Henry shines like the sun but instead shows the court that his power is greater and cannot be compelled. On the other hand, Hal was lost in the darkness but the glow of the moon led him to the right path where he belongs. King Henry should be more concerned of his child rather than discussing his inabilities as a son. If he took good care of his son, then maybe he would turn out like Hotspur. The lesson for the audiences is to never give up rather stay motivated to be successful and never judge anyone by their appearance because they may change in a blink of an eye.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Henry IV, Part 1. Toronto: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

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