Henry IV Part 1 Reading Questions (Norton)
Study Questions 1. How do Poins and Hal set Falstaff up for their practical joke ? 3. How does Shakespeare reflect one character over another with Hotspur/ Prince Henry, the. There is no one relationship between Hal and Falstaff. Rather. The Choice of the Four Fathers: Henry IV, Falstaff, the Lord Chief youth Prince Hal as he matures into the paradigmatic good ruler, Henry V. The four .. ( discussing the relationship between power and theatricality in the Henriad). See France to quiet any remaining questions about his legitimacy. of Prince Hal in the two —chronicle“ plays, Henry IV, parts one and two. These works deal The relationship between Falstaff and Hal has been the subject of much critical commentary. .. (See Activity/Assignment Questions (pp. 12 œ 13).
What do we learn about the rebels' plot in 2. What seems to be the message and attitude of the writer of the letter Hotspur is reading? From the scene between Hotspur and his wife 2. What sort of relationship do they have as man and wife?
Does Hotspur love Kate? Does she love him? If you have read Julius Caesar, you may find this scene similar to the one between Brutus and his wife Portia. Is she a believable character? How do you like her as a character? Finally we get to the tavern in Eastcheap in the heart of London. What has Hal "Prince" been doing 2. Why might it be important eventually for Hal to be able to "drink with any tinker in his own language during my life" and to "command all the good lads in Eastcheap" ?
In our terms, does this make him a good politician? How would the King react to this accomplishment of Hal's? Keep watching for an emphasis on different kinds of language in the play. What trick to Hal and Poins play on Francis 2. How well does it work? Given what we've seen so far in this scene, what does Hal really think of Francis and the other drawers? What is Hal saying in 2. How does he describe Hotspur and his wife? Does this picture match what we've just seen in 2.
And notice Hal's interest in having a play 2. The selling point that got Hal to agree to trick Falstaff was to hear what Falstaff would say about it.Prince Hal is summoned to Court - The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 1 - BBC Two
Does Hal get what he wanted? How does Falstaff describe his encounter with the thieves 2. How does Falstaff respond when Hal and Poins tell him what happened 2.
Who wins in this contest of wits? What really happened 2. Meanwhile, what has happened to change the direction of the scene 2.
What is the news from court. Have we heard this before? Since Hal now has to see his father, what do he and Falstaff plan to do next 2. How well does Falstaff play the King 2. What advice does this "father" give to Hal about his companions? What does this "father" think of Falstaff? Do you think Hal is going to agree?
LECTURE ON HAL-FALSTAFF-KING HENRY IN HENRY IV PART 1 | Shakespeare Seminar
Why does Hal "depose" Falstaff and how does Falstaff respond 2. Is this the first time in the play that we've heard about things like deposing a king? Next Hal plays his father and Falstaff plays Hal 2. How does this "Hal" respond? He is less interested in prince Hal, and more interested in the complex, unusual and ultimately cold human nature of the human being Hal.
There is no doubt in my mind that Shakespeare elucidates a fairly troubling relationship Hal has with his father, Henry IV, and his other, unusual father, Falstaff. Shakespeare is always brilliant at foregrounding and ellipsis, the former having to do with tacit information and history that has already accumulated before the first act of a play, and the latter having to do with gaps, things that Shakespeare leaves mysterious.
Although Hal tells us in Act 1 that his behavior and his distance from his father and the kingdom constitutes his clever plan to enter the fray at just the right time to insure his nobility, it is, as I have said, a very peculiar way in which to gain and hold power and respect.
But Shakespeare generally dispenses with such generic formulas, particularly after around the time of Romeo and Juliet, when he begins to bend and break most of the conventions and rules of stage representation. In Hamlet, it becomes impossible to know how honest Hamlet is being with us and with himself in the seven soliloquies around which the play is structured: In short, it seems likely that Hal is an unreliable narrator and that we should not trust the veracity of everything he tells us particularly since he admits to practicing deception on basically the entire kingdom ; at the very least, he leaves a lot of issues unspoken and an ellipsis, particularly his motivation.
What motivation might Hal have to deceive his father, Falstaff, and, ostensibly, the entire kingdom concerning his behavior and his goals? In Richard II, and in British history, Hal fled the kingdom under the pretense of safety when his father, then Henry Bolingbroke, headed the conspiracy to eliminate King Richard.
In Richard II, the insinuation is that he fled with Flastaff. The moment Henry IV gains the throne, his son has thrust upon him the destiny of the crown; he automatically becomes a prince, and must contend with and groom himself for such a royal destiny. Hal is quite aware, as a fledgling ruler, that political corruption spreads like a communicable disease.
Hal has a proleptic imagination, meaning he projects his current thoughts well into the future. He is securing his role as King Henry V well before his father has died, his role as a king that he wants to attain and occupy completely separate from his father in everything accept royal inheritance. The character was named after the Italian philosopher, Machiavelli, who wrote the famous renaissance work, The Prince, which reads as a sort of guidebook on how political figures can obtain and secure power, even through ruthless means.
The fact that Shakespeare depicts Hal as coldly calculating in Henry IV, and Falstaff as life-bearing above anything creates problems for interpretation. Shakespeare uses a well-known plot design in Henry IV known as the story of the grooming of a prince. Usually in the story of a prince who has a powerful future, the narrative focuses on his young and formative years, his coming of age. The story involves his scrapes and misguided moments when he must overcome vice and from which he learns lessons that make him into a stronger leader.
Usually there is a figure or two who function as sort of Satan-types, individuals who wish to steer the prince in the wrong direction. The prince must reject the Satan-figure in order to finally accept the mantle of adulthood and responsibility.
In other words, it seems very evident that although Hal rejects Falstaff, Shakespeare does not want us to reject Falstaff. Shakespeare allows Falstaff to speak and laugh on long after he dies in Henry V and I have no doubt that King Henry V is haunted by the memories of his youthful playmate.