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King Henry 4 part 1 parting shots 
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 King Henry 4 part 1 parting shots
Why is a 400 year old story still good?

Because for 400 years the truth of the story as relates to our lives today has not changed.

A young man must grow up; This to me is the essence of the story.

Hal must grow up if he is to be King, we se this growth happen through the tetralogy.

Geo showed us what a foil is, I'd say that we also learned that the cast are all foils for Hal the would be King.
Each character shows us the various stages of Hal.
In act one the King speaks of Hals riot and dishonor, (immature traits) , The King is blind at the moment to the mind of his own child, forgetting perhaps what it is to be young or not understanding what it is to be a child of a king, perhaps even what motivates his Hal in the first place.

We see these misrepresentations of Hal through out the play, underestimation of youth, but youth must grow up.
Hal seems to have it together in his estimation of Falstaff, showing us (the audience) he can handle himself.

Hotspur believes Hal is a loser, he believes the rumors, lies and innuendo about Hal. Hotspur is unconcerned about Hal as a force to be reckoned with, after all The King himself honors Hotspur over Hal does he not?.

Hal not once during the play has any trepidation about Hotspur, in fact when they do meet Hal kills him, so much for Hotspur.

I got this idea about growing up from working with young people, their smart in their own right but they don't have a mature nature towards work. They want to work a job but they have little to no experience, its up to those skilled workers to not only teach the how's and why's of a particular task but to impart the other thing, a mature nature towards the task.

Henry 4 part 1 shows us a young man growing to be King.



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Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:24 pm
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Post Re: King Henry 4 part 1 parting shots
Hi Taylor, great roundup.

I read this as a coming-of-age story as well. I can relate more to that aspect of the story than any other. Though Hal recognizes that he must some day start behaving as a King, he persists in rebelling against notions of order and nobility. And to some extent the play reflects on order and chaos and, especially, the role of the English monarchy through history. To that extent Falstaff represents a rebellious, spirited persona that must ultimately be reigned in so that we can live in peace and have that sense of order. But that order comes at a price. Is there a place for someone like Falstaff in Hal's coming reign? The play opens with Falstaff questioning Hal on this very subject, and Hal dodging the question. Shakespeare explores this theme throughout.

The question remains though, how Hal can state with such confidence in Act I that he will surprise the world when he does "break through the foul and ugly mists" and begin acting like a noble prince. This leads to some interpretations that Hal's time with the lowlifes is actually part of his master plan in becoming king. He wants to surprise the people in a kind of staged performance to ultimately win their hearts in order to solidify his kingship. (Remember, the Bolingbroke claim to the thone is a bit sketchy). His father, Henry IV, is criticized, especially by Hotspur, for his political (Machiavellian) ways. David Kastan, in the Arden Shakespeare, suggests that Hal understands and accepts this political reality even better than his father, and that Shakespeare is showing his audience that such political machinations are a kind of necessary evil. This is a lesson we can still appreciate today. We understand that our politicians must do whatever necessary to win the votes, even if they have to distort or exxaggerate the facts to do so.

Much of the fun of reading Shakespeare is seeing the different ways the story can be interpreted. Although it's easy sometimes to read too much into the story as well. :-)

But ultimately, you're right, we can still relate to these plays because many of these themes are still relevant.

I recently ordered the BBC production of THE HOLLOW CROWN—four episodes that follow the Henriad—Richard II, Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. This looks really quite good. I'm thinking of reading Richard II before I watch this though. I may end up reading the entire tetraology.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hollow-Crown- ... B00DQN6IOK


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Taylor
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Post Re: King Henry 4 part 1 parting shots
Quote:
Geo wrote:
I recently ordered the BBC production of THE HOLLOW CROWN—four episodes that follow the Henriad—Richard II, Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. This looks really quite good. I'm thinking of reading Richard II before I watch this though. I may end up reading the entire tetraology.


This was the series I watch a while back, It is a cinematic production, so to me the sets and locations bring a lot to the show.

Quote:
Much of the fun of reading Shakespeare is seeing the different ways the story can be interpreted. Although it's easy sometimes to read too much into the story as well.


This is partly what slowed me down. I kept looking for angles that really were not there. For instance I was keying on historical aspects rather than take the story for what it is. A kid who growing up in his times and in that place. Its almost as though WS was picturing life for any kid in the future where poverty wasn't a personal set back for the family. Kind of growing up in todays middle class.

Quote:
The question remains though, how Hal can state with such confidence in Act I that he will surprise the world when he does "break through the foul and ugly mists" and begin acting like a noble prince. This leads to some interpretations that Hal's time with the lowlifes is actually part of his master plan in becoming king. He wants to surprise the people in a kind of staged performance to ultimately win their hearts in order to solidify his kingship. (Remember, the Bolingbroke claim to the thone is a bit sketchy). His father, Henry IV, is criticized, especially by Hotspur, for his political (Machiavellian) ways. David Kastan, in the Arden Shakespeare, suggests that Hal understands and accepts this political reality even better than his father, and that Shakespeare is showing his audience that such political machinations are a kind of necessary evil. This is a lesson we can still appreciate today. We understand that our politicians must do whatever necessary to win the votes, even if they have to distort or exxaggerate the facts to do so.


This to me is at least partially addressed in Act 3, I wont get into it here, I'll give my thoughts in the Act 3 thread.



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Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:11 pm
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