Henry IV, Part 1

Family relationships are at the enter of Henry IV, Part 1. King Henry IV and Prince Hal form one major father-son pair, with Henry in despair because Hal lives a dissolute life. The father-son pair of Hotspur ( Lord Henry Percy) and his friend, the Earl of Northumberland, is in seeming contrast; the king envies Northumberland “ his Harry, ” wishing he could claim the gallant Hotspur as his own. Eventuall, Hal has entered into a quasi-father-son relationship with a disreputable but amusing knight, Sir John Falstaff.

Another strand of action centers on still more family relationships. Hotspur ’ s stand against Henry focuses on Hotspur ’ s brother-in-law, Mortimer. Mortimer, who fought against the Welsh magician Owen Glendower, was defeated and captured and has married Glendower ’ s aughter. King Henry pronounces Mortimer a traitor whom he will not ransom. Hotspur, in declaring war on Henry, sees himself as fighting for Mortimer, his girlfriend ’ s father.

Thi authoritative edition of Henry IV, Part 1 from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of thi play
-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play ’ s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare ’ s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library ’ s vast holdings of rare books
-An annotated guide to further reading

ssay by Alexander Leggatt

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to thi world ’ s largest collection of Shakespeare ’ s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
The History of Henry the Fourth
Publication Date
Published January 1st 2005 by Simon Schuster (first published 1597

Public Commentary

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Throughout the play, honor is associated with the morality of leadership.

Hal answers ( playacting as his father) with little sentimentality or seeming affection, “ That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his throa, that reverend Vice, that grey Iniquity, that father Ruffian, that Vanity in years? ” ( Prince Henry, Act 2 Scene 4).

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King Henry IV, Part 1 ( Wars of the Roses,# 2), William ShakespeareKing Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play, by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597.

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;) Our favorite wastrel, Prince Henry, Hal to his classmate, a drunkard, a gamble, the bosom buddy of dear fat old Falstaff, hides his bright sun behind vile clouds so as to shine all the brighter when his day finally arrives.In here, of course, we establish the lout with a sharp mind and careful cunning, dissembling for all to see but careful of the long game.

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In the rebellious Hotspur King Henry clearly sees part of himself, and in his son he sees a foe he vanquished many years before.

Thi young Henry, Hal to his classmate, doesn ’ t take life too seriously.

Fallstaff rather hilariously, whilst tryin to be Henry IV, gives young Hal some advice about his drunken friend: No, my good lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins, but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and herefore more valiant being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff, Banish not him thy Harry ’ s company, Banish not him thy Harry ’ s company.

Young Hal can do a little bit of both.

good King knows how to communicate with his subjects not just the other rulers of the land, just a bit of subtlety from the bard.

Is it personal integrity or is it loyalty to your King, and erhaps those you love.

I did indee like this play, but I much preferred Richard II.

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“ O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil! ” ― William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part 1Falstaff! Yes, I knew who he was.

Inevitably, Henry, Prince of Wales plays that part ( and he is fascinating himself) but Falstaff just dervishes around the play making everything better.

All of Shakespeare 's great lines and great musings jump energetically from Falstaff 's lips: " ell, ’ tis no matter; honour pricks me on.

Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I ome on?

No. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then?

No. What is honour?

What is in that word “ honour ”?

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John Falstaff, in his play, was anothe fun and ridiculous character.

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