• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discussing ‘Honour’ in Henry IV (i)

Extracts from this document...


Discussing 'Honour' in Henry IV (i) There are differing concepts of honour throughout the play of Henry IV shown by different characters. There are two characters that depict extremes on each end of the scale, Hotspur (Henry Percy) and Falstaff. This essay will demonstrate the different types of opinions towards what honour is from each character and also give a comparison with examples for each. Hostpur, or Henry Percy, is the son of Northumberland and is a very fiery character with a short temperament and who is quick to jump to conclusions. His idea of honour lies purely on the battlefield and he believes that the only possible way honour can be measured is with the amount of battles won and opponents conquered. He certainly believes himself to be more honourable than any man and this may explain two things. Firstly it will explain his confidence about his fighting and military knowledge as well as his concept that his idea is always the right one. Secondly it may also explain his rudeness, brashness and sometimes complete disrespect when addressing others, especially those in royalty. He gives a good speech when talking to Worcester and Northumberland about his honour and how he has claimed it. ...read more.


This small but quite hard-hitting speech can account for his ways throughout his life. He lies continually, exaggerates stories to boast to his friends and is even caught out in his ways when Hal tricks him after he has robbed some people. All these acts and his way of life does not compare to perhaps his lowest and dirtiest manipulation of the situation when he acclaims responsibility for slaying Hotspur. Before this incident, when Hal and Hotspur are fighting, Douglas comes in and fights Falstaff. He falls down and pretends to play dead, which is a despicable piece of behaviour in itself that shows nothing but cowardice and lack of self-esteem and morale as well as a lack of honour. This leaves Douglas to go elsewhere and the Prince (Hal) and Hotspur to fight. Once Hostpur has died Hal goes off to find the King and show him what he has finally done, Falstaff arises and when the King returns he claims to have battled Hotspur after the Prince had gone and it was he himself who had killed the man. This is the height of ignorance and dishonour. It shows what a coward and scheming kind of person Falstaff really is and does a huge injustice to Prince Hal. ...read more.


The King is quite a misguided man and in history made many wrong decisions during his reign and found it hard to keep the country in order. In his treatment of the rebels he seems to be a little dishonourable but they did commit the biggest offence in treason and perhaps deserved what was brought about. To summarise all the characters, Falstaff is a man who lacks honour but as he has never claimed to believe in the concept he has an excuse of sorts. He leads a life of theft and robbery but does suffer for it at a later time. Hotspur is a man of the battlefield, living and ultimately dying by the sword. He believes one can only gain honour by taking the difficult course in life and that he has done it better than most. Prince Hal lived a wayward life but eventually got back into a position that could be seen as an ideal one and one that is a model for people to follow. He earned honour and kept onto it, becoming a fine king of England. All have different concepts of honour but there is a similarity in that whatever they pledge, they stick to. Hotspur preferred the battlefield, Falstaff preferred to not indulge in anything honourable at all and Hal preferred to earn it when the time was right. Neil Christie 11N Henry IV Part I Mr. Tobias ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Henry V section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Henry V essays

  1. Comparison of Olivier (1944) and Branagh's (1989) screen adaptations of Henry V

    The aura-like light of the moon alters to the subdominant sun, which naturalistically causes the mists to rise. Branagh's transition is aimed relatively at the depictions of a medieval warfare atmosphere. The transition from night into day climbs to the opening of dialogue in the following scene portraying the negative

  2. Media Comparative Essay: (in the medium of film) concerning the 2 well known film ...

    He would successfully have to "take the familiar and make it new". Branagh heavily scrutinised Olivier's epic work, employing and enhancing many of the methods Olivier inspired and developed, causing Branagh's film to be labelled sometimes as an emulation. Still there is an obvious (yet often subtle)

  1. English/ English Literature Joint Coursework Folder

    The shot plays onto Branagh's emotional theme, revealing characters' expressions of fear and anger. Olivier has directed this scene in many ways to his own interest. Olivier makes argument more intense to reveal Henry's true elegance and authority of voice to argue at the level of a soldier.

  2. Compare and contrast Hal and Hotspur. Note their similarities and differences.

    This trait is not desirable in a king. In contrast, in Act five scene one, Hal offers to fight Hotspur in single combat. This brave and valiant statement was not said in earnest for a fight, but a noble gesture rather than risking the lives of thousands of men.

  1. Comparing Shakespeare's Henry V to Kenneth Branagh's 1989 Film.

    The King remains strong and confident before his men, giving them encouragement and confidence as he speaks with them, trying to prepare them for battle. The Chorus gives the audience a description, "Upon his royal face there is no note how dread an army hath enrounded him : nor doth

  2. Media Comparative Essay: Concerning the 2 well known film versions of Shakespeare's Henry V ...

    The section begins with Henry walking and removing his cloak, an easy method to literally emphasize the return of identity to the king. The exception of Branagh's authenticity appears at the mention of "The wretched slave". Olivier pans the camera right to reveal a young boy sleeping peacefully.

  1. Shakespeare's Henry V: More Pageant than Play?

    The outcome of the war showed whether justice was done and in the story the English won which meant that God was on their side and that the war was just. The hero of this history play is also a king.

  2. Explore how Shakespeare creates humour for the audience in the scenes in which the ...

    through foolish slips in his speech, in which he is constantly comparing the wives to monetary worth for example he refers to Mistress Ford as his "heavenly jewel". Other key comic characters in the "Merry Wives of Windsor" are Doctor Caius, and Hugh Evans, however their entertainment value comes in a different way to Falstaff's.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work