An Analysis between the Father and his Son in William Shakespeare’s Henry IV

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Martial arts is a form of fighting and it contributes greatly on training beginners to self-defend. There are a total of 10 levels to achieve in martial arts: 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Level 1 is represented by the white belt and level 10 is represented by the black belt. The black belt is only given to the trainer once his sensei or teacher feels like the student has earned it. If the sensei does not feel that the trainee is ready for the black belt, then he will reject him. It takes a long time to gain the “sensei’s” trust and achieve his high expectations (“martial art.”) Just like the relationship of the sensei and trainee, in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1 Hal tries to gain his father’s trust so he can become prince once and for all. However, the king sees Hal as a dishonoured child that is misled by the darkness of the tavern. Of course, Hal shows his father how trustworthy he can be by leading the battle of Shrewsbury with him and saving King Henry’s life. Hal meets the high expectations of his father and becomes prince like he was intended to be. On the other hand, King Henry obtains his crown by killing the previous king and then receiving the help of the nobles to get him to where he is now. King Henry obtains his supremacies by relying on others, manipulating his associates to gain their limited trust, and by betraying his companions, while Hal becomes crowned prince by relying on his father and betraying his friends of the tavern.

King Henry and Hal attain power over the ruling classes manipulating the citizens of Wales. First, King Henry uses his authoritative power to let the people know that there is nothing to fear and he righteously earned his place on the throne. When King Henry addresses Hal...

... middle of paper ... Prince Hal relies on his father to gain his own trust and to be crowned prince. Hal must first show King Henry that he is willing to betray his friends in the tavern and kill Hotspur just to gain his trust. When King Henry recognizes that Hal is honest about his choice he can then be crowned prince. King Henry achieves power deceivably and dishonestly while Hal attains power honestly and righteously. The lesson for audiences is to never gain trust easily because those who you may trust effortlessly might just stab you in the back without you knowing. Achieve your goals alone, do not rely on others to accomplish it for you.

Works Cited

"martial art.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

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

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