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

Examine the theme of honour as presented in Shakespeare's 'Henry IV: Part I.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Christopher Atkins 20th October 2002 Examine the theme of honour as presented in Shakespeare's 'Henry IV: Part I In 'Henry IV: Part I' Shakespeare presents several different themes of honour. Honour is explored in the play mainly by three characters; Prince Hal, Hotspur and Falstaff. These three characters each show three different extremes of honour and I plan to explore them in this essay. As this play is mainly based around war, honour plays a very key factor in it. Hal is the main character of the play and as the Kings first son and heir to the throne; a lot of attention is focussed on him. At the beginning of the play Prince Hal, along with Falstaff and a few others plot a robbery at Gad's Hill which is very dishonourable, more so for him as the King's son and heir to the throne. Along with this robbery he also agrees to a joke robbery with Poins against Falstaff, which to a friend is very unfaithful. ...read more.

Middle

Hal's turnaround from being dishonourable and mischievous and hanging in taverns with the lower classes to being a very honourable figure in the play and a very suitable heir to the throne came after a conversation with his father, the King as he voiced his concerns and worries for his sons place as heir to the throne in explaining that the way the he is behaving was what led to himself taking over the role as the King from Richard. Hal shows a high level of maturity by immediately changing after this conversation. Hotspur, another key character in the play also has a remarkable amount of bravery and courage for what he believes in. Although it is against the King, he shows an immense amount. However in comparison to Hal, shows little dishonourableness, the only controversial moment being when he over exaggerates the battle Glendower was in. Hotspur also shows a great level of honour by also offering to face Hal one-on-one to save the lives of many innocent people and settle the dispute. Hotspur makes this offer without the knowledge that Hal made the same proposal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Falstaff also discusses honour in the play. He believes it is just a word and means nothing if you die: "What is honour, a word?" He also shows dishonour by exaggerating the story of when he was robbed as a joke because he is unaware it was a joke. There are also plenty other characters in the play that show honour and courage. Prince John, the second son of the King shows signs early on in the play as well as 'the valiant Sir Walter Blunt' who died in battle for his King and Country and similarly Douglas showed bravery and the opposing side, for the rebels. Not to mention all the soldiers who died in battle. Also there was Glendower who was taken prisoner in a battle at the beginning of the play. Personally, I feel there is nobody who came close to the amount of honour Hal proved himself to have in this play. Despite his dishonourable and rebellious behaviour at the beginning of the play, he came through to win the respect of others, win the battle and save the life of his father, showing the most bravery, courage, maturity to transform, loyalty and honour in this play. ...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. The Importance of the Conflict and Resolution in King Henry IV Part I

    Hotspur, on the other hand is obsessed with honour. When news came to him about the absence of his father and Glendower from Shrewsbury, instead of 'waving the white flag' in defeat, he believes that he will get more glory when they win.

  2. The contrast between Hotspur and Hal is the main theme in Henry IV part ...

    an idea as Hotspur's, then we are finally convinced by his shocking mutilation of Hotspur's corpse. The irony, of course, is that Falstaff commits this cowardly act in order to gain the rewards of the honour he despises. Between the two extreme attitudes to honour is the figure of Hal.

  1. How Richard III's Battle speech is presented in the film adaptations of Olivier and ...

    than die honorably for his cause and this is contradicting his prior speech to the army. Richard III is written in blank verse. Blank verse is unrhymed lines made up of ten syllables in which every second syllable is stressed (study unit 1 pg 26).

  2. Comment on and analyse the role of women in the King Richard 3rd?

    Queen Margaret (wife of the late Henry VI and mother of the late Edward) curses everyone because Richard and others will not let her return to 'her' throne and she thinks it is time that the house of York is hurt.

  1. Richard III, explore the way Shakespeare shapes an audience's response to Richard

    Richard speaks of these in his speech - e.g. 'stern alarums' and 'merry meetings' (line 7); 'dreadful' and 'delightful' (line 8); 'soothed' and 'wrinkled' (line 9). Both of these devices were perhaps embodied into Richard's monologue to encourage the audience to feel that Richard is not like the Yorkists, and

  2. Taking into consideration of the language and structure of the play, how would you ...

    Her face would look riddled with fury and sorrow. She would start with a whisper, to make the first curse eerie, and she would be bending over the body of her father in law. Then she would stand upright with her hands by her side looking up and out at

  1. who in your opinion is the true hero of Henry the fourth part 1

    Because he is a criminal, his promises seem invalid, however the audience feels an element of trust because Shakespeare portrays Hal as the exciting loveable rogue. Shakespeare uses the soliloquy as an opportunity to allow the audience an insight into Hal's redemption plan.

  2. Examine closely the contrasting characters of Hal and Hotspur in King Henry IV, Part ...

    exchange it for oxygen which is a much needed and essential ingredient to human life and with him being the 'straighest' and most full he is the main source of the world's oxygen along with his fellow friends. This shows that without him the rest of the world would not

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