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A comparison (up to the end of Act 3) of the 'courts' of Henry IV and his son Prince Harry

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A comparison (up to the end of Act 3) of the 'courts' of Henry IV and his son Prince Harry Shakespeare's Henry IV part 1 deals with a Scottish challenge to the throne of King Henry IV led by Henry Percy ("Hotspur") who was the son of the Earl of Northumberland. But it also deals with the differences of the lives at which the King and his son live, and how they differ in the time of need. In this essay I shall be carrying out a comparison of the 'courts' of Henry IV and his son, Price Henry, also named as Hal. When I mention 'courts', I am describing the area of which a monarch conducts all aspects of their business, but also the inhabitants of it. The outcome I am aiming to produce is to show how the two inhabitants of different courts come together when they are needed by each other. I shall start with a comparison of the settings of the two courts. The setting of the King's court is of many great places in which he conducts his business, such as discussions of rebellion and how to keep the country at peace. These are very prestigious and modern (in the set era) rooms and areas which would allow a select few to enter. Surrounded by high quality goods and paintings, these courts would be very solemn. They would be used for their sole purpose only, and any unneeded acts would rarely commence. Examples of this are shown, not only in the BBC Broadcast of the book, but also in the ink drawings in the novel. They show the setting to be extremely tidy but at the same time bland. These areas have no character, no feeling in them; they are merely for show. In the BBC broadcast of the book, near the beginning there is a scene in which the King is giving a speech in which he addresses his supporters in giving them the news that he shall lead a crusade in Jerusalem (among other things). ...read more.


This was the bulk of Henry's inhabitants, but there were many more minor ones. Please note that there were no inhabitants which were of a good social stature, except the Prince. The courts would be subject to many different activities. Henry IV was regularly anticipating the concept of a rebellion against the empire. This is shown throughout Act 1 Scene 1 as the King is told of a challenge to thrown made by Henry Hotspur. This is some what of a surprise to the Henry as it is his own nephew making the challenge. The King was extremely confident that his own country was running itself that he had made plans to lead an army in a Crusade to Jerusalem, to fight the Turks, who were in possession of the Christian Holy Land. But this was all postponed by the news delivered in Act 1 Scene 1. Altogether, the King's Court was set on running the country and keeping it from collapsing into the hands of rebels: this meant attending meetings with both allies and rebels in the same room. Although Hal's Court had a different perception of activities- His activities were the same as an average man. His court had their hearts set on destroying the country (up until the great battle in the beginning of scene 4). Most of the scenes in this book concerning the court would be in an inn or in royal apartments, and the inhabitants- drinking. This group of friends would be regularly visiting brothels for the company of a prostitute, especially Falstaff. In Act 3 Scene 3, lines 14-20, it shall show how Falstaff explains his activities, "I was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be--- virtuous enough: swore little; diced not above seven times--- a week; went to a bawdy-house not above once in a quarter--- of an hour; paid money that I borrowed--- three or four times; lived well, and in good compass. ...read more.


It shows young Hal to have an extremely complex mind and that common people are not worthy as his friends. King Henry IV and his son Hal have a very complicated relationship: they are not alike in many ways, but when it comes to the time which they are seeking salvation by each other, they have many similarities. In Act 1 Scene 1, lines 77-94, the King reveals how he wishes that the young Hotspur and his own son Hal were switched at birth, "Yea, there thou mak'st me sad and mak'st me sin... And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet!" The above speech is explained above when I am carrying out a comparison of the content of speeches. Although, in Act 3 Scene 2, both faces admit to each other that they are in need of help from one-another. The King berates him for his behaviour and the company he keeps. This is shown in lines 10-17, "For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven... And hold their level with thy princely heart?" But soon he is pouring his heart out and pleading for Hal to change his ways and become a real monarch; the proof of this is throughout this scene. Although, in lines 129-159, Hal promises his father that he will be a noble Prince; an honourable Prince; a worthy Prince, "Do not think so, you shall not find it so; ... Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow." I have now made all my comparisons relating to the courts of Henry IV and his son, Prince Harry. I have gained several conclusions throughout this piece of coursework at the end of each section. But as I final conclusion, I shall like to state what I think is occurring with the courts near the end of Act 3: Henry's and Hal's courts are different in many senses, although the only occasion they join each other's company is when fighting for their country; when they have a purpose. ...read more.

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