The Dramatic and Poetic Impact of "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" in "King Henry IV"

The Dramatic and Poetic Impact of "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" in "King Henry IV"

Length: 371 words (1.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The King is troubled by the pressures of ruling a kingdom; `uneasy lies the head that wears a crown'. Many speculate that this is because he doesn't have divine right kingship, at the time Kings believed that their power was installed in them by God. Henry being a usurper does not having this belief because of the manner in which he took the crown.

This uncertainty and doubt in which the King speaks would relate to characteristics of a weak leader. `One might read the book of fate' indicating to us that if he knew what may happen then he would do things differently. For instance that once again Northumberland won't turn up to battle and instead flee for protection in Scotland. The moment King Henry refers to the book he acknowledges that there is a greater power than himself. The kingdom that he rules using a `body upon rank diseases grow' as a metaphor to describe the state of it. It is a country in which he expects to see a `revolution of the times'.

We also notice that it is not until Act III almost three quarters that now reserved King makes the first of two lengthy speeches. This is in sharp contrast to the first part of the play were he dominates the entire play. We must conclude from this that is weary and is not confident is his reign.

Within the passage we also learn a great deal of history of the relationship between the families and great nobilities of England. This recounting of historic events marks an acceleration of time. As well a true reflection of how quickly events have happened `tis not ten years gone' that Northumberland and Richard feasted together and two years after they were at war. The King also talks of his own personal feelings `this Percy was the man nearest my soul' yet by calling him by his second name this degrades him. The King a former rebel now has one of his former allies and a man who he described having the likeness of a `brother' against him challenging for the crown. Though the King has other ideas `my cousin Bolingbroke ascends the throne', yet would he feel any safer in the throne than Henry, he may be blood line of the King but the King is a usurper.

King Henry is also fond of looking back into the past, with contextual references that relate to his age.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Dramatic and Poetic Impact of "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" in "King Henry IV"." 17 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Impact of Lord Byron on the World Essay

- Since the beginning of time itself, there have been many different individuals who have significantly impacted the world. These impacts on the world can have a range, but are not limited to categories such as science, mathematics, literature, politics, music, athletics and much more. However, of all things, among those categories, one of the most significant impacts on the world, comes from none other than that of literature. The achievements of literature have been known to strike deeper into the hearts of people than many other achievements throughout history....   [tags: Literature, Authors]

Research Papers
1884 words (5.4 pages)

Sophocles' Clever Use of Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the King Essay

- Dramatic irony depends on the audience’s knowing something that the character does not, and in this play the audience knows Oedipus faith before he knows it himself. In this play there are several parts where Sophocles conveys his plot through dramatic irony. Dramatic irony underlines how partial human perceptive can be even when it is most reasonable and how agonizing it can be to be the costs of the misinterpretation, in some sense foreseeable. Dramatic irony is also use by Sophocles to make the audience feel their taken part of the play knowing the fate of the main character, making the audience wait in suspense wanting to know how Oedipus would react to his fate....   [tags: Oedipus the King]

Research Papers
840 words (2.4 pages)

The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Essay

- The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Consider the range of characterisation in Browning’s dramatic monologues and the poetic methods he employs to portray his speakers. Some are written in rhyming verse, use metaphors, et cetera, but for what reason. What is the writer trying to achieve and how successful is he. Robert Browning (1812-1889) was an English poet noted for his mastery of dramatic monologue. He was born in London, the son of a wealthy clerk at the bank of England, he received scant formal education but had access to his father’s large library of about 6,000 volumes....   [tags: Poetry Dramatic Monologue Form]

Research Papers
2236 words (6.4 pages)

Dramatic Irony in Sophocles' Oedipus the King Essay

- Dramatic Irony in Sophocles' Oedipus the King Oedipus the King is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles.  Sophocles knowing that his audience is aware of the outcome of the play utilizes that knowledge to create various situations in which dramatic irony play key roles.  Dramatic irony is when the audience knows the tragic truth before the characters do.  Through his use of irony Sophocles manages to avoid  retelling an old tale, though the audience is cognizant of the story's end they are intrigued by the irony present in the story.  Sophocles made liberal use of irony....   [tags: Oedipus King Oedipus Rex Essays Papers]

Research Papers
967 words (2.8 pages)

Walt Whitman: Poetic Realist Essay

- Walt Whitman – Poetic Realist Walt Whitman, one of the great American poets of the 19th and 20th centuries, was inspired to further his passion and talent for writing by what some would refer to as a call to action, by the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, known in his time as an “American Transcendentalist” writer, called poets of the mid 1800s into action with his essay entitled: “The Poet.” The fact that Walt Whitman, considered a realist poet, was inspired in part by this transcendentalist perfectly illustrates the constant progression of literary styles of that time....   [tags: transcendentalism, poetic analysis]

Research Papers
1300 words (3.7 pages)

The Influence of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- The Influence of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Dramatic impact is the effect on the audience. 'Macbeth' is a play designed to be performed for and to involve the audience. Dramatic influence is the way supernatural has effect upon the characters in the play. In Shakespeare's time, most people believed in witches and witchcraft and they were the objects of morbid and fevered fascination. Persecution reached terrifying proportions. Between 1560 and 1602, hundreds of people, mostly women, were convicted as witches and were executed....   [tags: Dramatic Impact Influence Macbeth]

Research Papers
2195 words (6.3 pages)

The Impact of Truth in Oedipus Rex (the King) Essay

- The Impact of Truth in Oedipus Rex (the King) "Truth has made me strong." This is a quote from Tiresias, one of the characters in Sophocles's tragedy, Oedipus Rex. The quote has different meaning and relevance for each of the different characters, but for the character of Creon, the quote is completely true. By the end of the play, the truth had not only prompted Oedipus to forgive Creon, clearing his name of any previous accusations, but the truth had also made Creon Oedipus's successor....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Research Papers
1193 words (3.4 pages)

The Use of Dramatic Irony in Sophocle's Oedipus the King Essay

- The Use of Dramatic Irony in Sophocle's Oedipus the King Tragedy as an element of the human experience has been the subject of many of the great works of literature written in the Western tradition. For some, tragedy embodies the highest form of humanity. It is through suffering that we are able to reveal ourselves most completely. Others see tragedy as an element of morality where we are to learn well the lessons of those who tempt the gods. The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, outlined a theory of tragedy as archetypal drama in his classic work, the Poetics....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Research Papers
2382 words (6.8 pages)

The Dramatic Impact and Importance of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

- The Dramatic Impact and Importance of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth The witches in Macbeth have a large dramatic impact and play a key role in Macbeth, so they are also important. This play was written roughly 400 years ago and so the majority of the population then would have been very superstitious. This means that there would have been a much larger impact on the audience. The witches are also important, as with out them Macbeth would not have had the idea to kill Duncan....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
656 words (1.9 pages)

The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Witchcraft in the 17th centaury was frowned upon by the church as a result witches were feared and loathed in the community. Many people thought that they were directly connected to Lucifer (the devil). Their evidence of this was that the devils familiars came up from hell and drank the witches blood from devil spots (moles or birthmarks), in return for this blood he would grant them special powers such as the ability to fly, foul crops or kill at a glance....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Shakespeare leaves it open to the readers own digressions whether or not this is because he seeks comfort from his days a rebel before he had the pressures of leading the country. Henry also seeks some kind of sympathy when he speaks of having `no such intent' of planning to take the throne by force. The fact that this line has been put in brackets would signify that he is dismissing the line as unimportant. He `says God knows' or is this just him artificially aligning himself close to God? Due to the manner in which he took the throne.

The `brood of time' and the demise of his cousin Richard II still haunts the King. Dwelling on the dead `times deceased' in a fear that history may just repeat itself.

Return to