Education Of Hal King Henry IV Essay

Education Of Hal: King Henry IV Essay, Research Paper

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Intro. to ShakespeareKing Henry IV, Part I question # 2


Education of the Elite

When King Henry IV, Part I begins, Prince Hal is shown as an inconsistent sloven, maintaining company with provincials and stealers. In fact, the first word of him comes from the King, who says that & # 8220 ; public violence and dishonor stain the forehead / Of my immature Harry & # 8221 ; ( I.i ) . Yet somehow Hal manages to lift from the public violence and dishonor, to his rightful topographic point as the following King, transporting the award of England at the terminal of the drama. However, Harry? s Ascension to the throne was non entirely of his ain making. To larn the qualities he needs to be the true King of England, he must hold instructors. His two instructors, Falstaff and Hotspur, both teach him qualities which would function a male monarch good when balanced, but which would destroy the land when separated. To genuinely understand why Hal? s instruction is complete, several things are of noteworthy importance ; the instruction he receives from Falstaff, the instruction he receives from Hotspur, and how each learned quality will function him.

Falstaff, the amusing character of the drama, Teachs Hal something which every swayer needs: humanity. Shakespeare characterizes Falstaff as a adult male who would make anything for a drink or some nutrient, a gourmand beyond step of ground. He is besides a coward and a prevaricator, shown by the scene where Hal and Poins rob him, and so inquire him what happened, that such a & # 8220 ; mighty & # 8221 ; warrior as Falstaff might be overcome. Falstaff answers:

I am a knave, if I were non at half- blade with a twelve of them two hours together. I have? scaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the dual, four through the hosiery ; my shield cut through and through ; my blade hacked like a hand-saw? ecce

signum! I ne’er dealt better since I was a adult male: all would non make.

( II, four )

Although all of the rules Falstaff exemplifies are human and natural, they all lack something which the King of England must hold. This portion which Falstaff does non possess is honor, which must be taught by Hotspur.

Hotspur, the foil of Falstaff, picks up what Falstaff started and Te

achings Hal award. When Hotspur is introduced, he is the pride of England ; a winning general, and gallant beyond conceivable bounds. He represents all that is baronial and good, God and state with pride and personal appeal which about precisely opposes Falstaff? s societal point of view: failed stealer, gourmand and rummy. However, Hotspur is non destined to be the true King, because he is missing what Falstaff has already taught Prince Hal: humanity.

Honor and humanity are the two traits which Shakespeare claims are necessary to be King, yet neither could last without the other. If Hal had merely learned humanity from Falstaff, England would deteriorate into pandemonium. Peoples would experience no demand to work, they would indulge in the trait which Falstaff comes to typify: gluttony. Yet if award was the lone factor, it would be merely as bad. England would be in a changeless province of war, with the exchequer drained and the people of England wholly forgotten approximately. When balanced, humanity and honor complement each other absolutely. Humanity means that Hal will retrieve the demands of the people, and govern them reasonably. Honor means that Hal will be the solid citizen that Hotspur represents, while utilizing his humanity to maintain the atrocious devotedness to war which Hotspur felt at bay.

In decision, the instruction of Hal was reversible. He learned humanity without award from Falstaff, and award without humanity from Hotspur. Uniting what he had learned from both, he became the true King of England, by right of God. At the terminal of the drama, we see the meeting of these two qualities, meaning the completion of Hal? s instruction, and his preparedness to be King. This is shown in the last conflict scene, with Falstaff transporting Hotspur? s cadaver to Hal:

The better portion of heroism is discretion ; in which better portion I have saved my live. ? Zounds, I am afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead: how, if he should forge excessively, and lift? By my religion, I am afraid he would turn out the better forgery. Therefore I? ll make him certain ; yea, and I? ll swear I killed him. Why may he non lift every bit good as I? Nothing confutes me but eyes, and cipher sees me. Therefore sirrah, with a new lesion in your thigh, come you along with me.

( V, four )


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