King Henry IV

King Henry IV

Length: 594 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The father and son relationship is one of the
most important aspects through the youth of a
young man. In Shakespeare’s play Henry IV, he
portrays the concept of having "two fathers".
King Henry is Hal’s natural father, and Falstaff is
Hal’s moral father. Hal must weigh the pros and
cons of each father to decide which model he will
emulate. Falstaff, who is actually Hal’s close
friend, attempts to pull Hal into the life of crime,
but he refuses. Hal seems to lack honor at the
commencement of the play, but near the end we
see him display a different kind true honor which
will be explained more in depth. Hal also shows
his honor when he rejects the requests put forth
by his good friend Falstaff and sides with his
natural father to fight loyally. Even though Henry
views Hal as an unworthy candidate for the
thrown, Hal proves him wrong by displaying
attributes that are very honorable.

In King Henry’s point of view, Hal doesn’t seem
much like an heir to his thorwn. Instead of living
at the court to aid his father govern England, he
frolics in the Taverns of Eastcheap with a group
of petty thieves. There are two different views
that the audience can perceive as to why Hal
constantly goes to the Tavern. Firstly, it might be
so that he can escape his responsibilities. Second,
it could be so that Hal can learn the lives of the
people that he will eventually be governing.
Depending on which one you believe, it will
show your own decision as to whether you
conceive Hal as being responsible and honorable
or vice versa. Falstaff who seems to be Hal’s role
model while in the Tavern, is putting forth a great
deal of effort to have Hal conform into the
lowlife that he himself has made himself out to
be. Falstaff teaches Hal how to lie, cheat, and
steal, but Hal seems to have a mind of his own.
He tells his father that at any given moment he
can change his character and be what his father
wants him to be. Henry declines to believe these

Before the final battle Falstaff asks for Hal’s
protection. Hal’s response is, "Say thy prayers,
and farewell. Why, thou owest God a
death"(5.1.124-126). This statement gives the
impression that Hal has had a change of heart. In
Act 5.2, Hal shows a different kind of honor
when he attempts to take away all of Hotspur’s
honor. Hal isn’t as interested in gaining honor for
its own sake as he is in forcing Hotspur to render
up all of his. This scene displays how Hal is
honorable for himself and for himself only.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"King Henry IV." 13 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Moralities of Falstaff and Prince Hal in King Henry IV Essay

- Throughout King Henry IV Part 1, Shakespeare consistently contrasts the opposing worldviews of Falstaff and Prince Hal. Shakespeare portrays Falstaff as the old, overweight drunk who lives only to enjoy himself in the present. In contrast, Shakespeare shows Hal to be the sometimes irresponsible, nevertheless, intelligent and heroic prince whose entire life and character is about planning and preparing not only himself, but also others for the future. Yet, while Falstaff engages in illegal activity to maintain his own pleasure, regardless of any implications, Hal retains his scruples and manages to regain the respect of his peers....   [tags: Morality, characters, King Henry IV, plays, shakes]

Research Papers
810 words (2.3 pages)

The Life and Work of Leonardo da Vinci, King Henry VIII, and Sir Isaac Newton

- Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in a small Tuscan town called Vinci that was near Florence. Most people know him for his skills as an artist and his many famous paintings. These paintings included the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and Virgin of the Rocks. An artist was only one of the activities that da Vinci was good at. He was known as the quintessential Renaissance man. Da Vinci was also a mathematician, inventor, sculptor, musician, and writer. Leonardo is stated to be one of the most diversely talented men maybe ever to be alive....   [tags: Leonardo da Vinci, Inventions, King Henry VIII, Si]

Free Essays
1450 words (4.1 pages)

The Wives of King Henry VIII Essay example

- ... Six years following the birth of his illegitimate son, Henry decided he was done with Catherine, and became more intrigued with the sister of one of his past mistresses, Anne Boleyn. In the beginning of the king's infatuation, Anne was not interested, but as time passed she grew fonder of him (Weir 40). Once Catherine was no longer able to produce the heir that Henry so desperately desired, he took it into his own hands to get the marriage annulled in order to re-marry. By 1527, he convinced himself that his marriage to Catherine acted directly against a passage in the Bible found in Leviticus 20:21....   [tags: henry tudor, england, anne boleyn]

Research Papers
2020 words (5.8 pages)

Essay about King Henry The Viii Of England

- King Henry the VIII can facilely be described as a man of countless mistresses’, a man of little virtue, and finally a man of six wives. Many people know or have heard the story of King Henry the VIII of England. For the most part, when people speak of him, they instantly cerebrate about his six wives, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Kathryn Howard, and lastly Katherine Parr. In addition to his wives, King Henry VIII was also widely known for his illimitable sexual affairs with his numerous mistresses, and rightfully so....   [tags: Henry VIII of England, Anne Boleyn]

Research Papers
1435 words (4.1 pages)

King Henry Viii Of England Essay

- Henry VIII of England[1509-1547] By Kent McMahon King Henry VIII of England is the most infamous and notorious of all the Monarchs of England. He was a vile and heartless man who beheaded over 72,000 people in his 38 year reign and called for public celebration when his first wife, Catherine of Aragorn died on the 7th of January,1536. King Henry VIII was born on the 28th of June,1491 in Greenwich Palace. He was the 3rd of seven children of King Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and Elizabeth of York....   [tags: Henry VIII of England, Anne Boleyn]

Research Papers
2250 words (6.4 pages)

Essay Henry Thoreau's Civil Disobedience and Martin Luther King Jr.

- Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience took the original idea of transcendentalism and put it into action. His civil acts of defiance were revolutionary as he endorsed a form of protest that did not incorporate violence or fear. Thoreau’s initial actions involving the protest of many governmental issues, including slavery, landed him in jail as he refused to pay taxes or to run away. Ironically, more than one hundred years later, the same issue of equal rights was tearing the United States apart....   [tags: Henry Thoreau, Martin Luther King]

Free Essays
1215 words (3.5 pages)

King Henry VIII Essay

- Henry Tudor, the son of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth York, was born on June 28, 1491. Henry had six siblings but only three survived: Arthur, Margaret, and Mary. Arthur was older than Henry and was expected to be the heir of the throne. Arthur married Catherine of Argon and after less than four months of marriage, Arthur died at the age of 15. This meant that Henry was to heir the throne now. As a child Henry was so spoiled that he would have to be punished for every time he did something wrong....   [tags: henry tudor, arthur, margaret]

Research Papers
534 words (1.5 pages)

Henry VIII, King of England Essay

- Henry VIII (1491-1547) was the King of England from 1510 to 1547.  He was a unique king with talent in music and sports.  He married six wives during his life, and he influenced England a lot during his reign.  This paper will examine his early life, his marriages with his six wives, his success in many battles, becoming the head of the Anglican Church, and his life as the King of England.       Henry VIII was born on June 28, a rainy day in the summer of 1491, at Greenwich Palace in England (Godwin 17).  He was the third child and second son of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.  He had an elder brother Arthur, an elder sister Margaret, and a younger sister Mary.  He also had three othe...   [tags: Essays in Henry VIII 2014]

Research Papers
2600 words (7.4 pages)

Free Henry IV Essays: Falstaff and King Henry

- Henry IV - Falstaff and King Henry Throughout the play Henry IV : Part I,there are many similarities between characters. Two that seem particularly alike are Falstaff and King Henry. Their common traits are demonstrated by Shakespeare in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways. While Falstaff seems to be able to accept himself for what he is, the King appears to be tied up in his image as a great ruler, and thus will never admit to being anything less than great. The characters of Falstaff and the King at first seem to be diametrically opposed opposites in terms of personality, yet they share many common traits....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Free Essays
461 words (1.3 pages)

The Flawed King in Shakespeare's Henry V Essay

- The Flawed King in Shakespeare's Henry V To turn Henry V into a play glorifying war or a play condemning war would be to presume Shakespeare's intentions too much. He does both of these and more in his recount of the historical battle of Agincourt. Although Shakespeare devotes the play to the events leading to war, he simultaneously gives us insight into the political and private life of a king. It is this unity of two distinct areas that has turned the play into a critical no man's land, "acrimoniously contested and periodically disfigured by opposing barrages of intellectual artillery" (Taylor 1)....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Research Papers
1567 words (4.5 pages)

Related Searches

and his true father go into battle versus Hotspur
and his father Douglas. Just when King Henry is
cornered, Hal comes to the rescue and then kills
Hotspur. This immediately gives Henry a change
of heart, and for the first time, he is proud of his

As shown in this paper Hal is only honorable to a
certain extent. He is dishonorable at the beginning
of the play by stealing for fun, but he changes his
ways and finds his true self by the end of the
play. He shows true honor in the final act of the
play by finally realizing that the right thing to do
is to stick with his "real" family, and not put your
friends before your blood.

Shakespeare, William. Henry the Fourh: Part
One. Ed. M.A. Shaaber. New York: Kingsport
Press Inc., 1957.
Return to