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How far do you agree that the ending of Henry IV (part 2) is more tragic than triumphant?

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Jan 2006 (a) How far do you agree that the ending of Henry IV (part 2) is more tragic than triumphant? In the course of your answer: * Explain clearly how Shakespeare presents the ending of the play; * Comment on what the play suggests about the significance of Hal's becoming King. The ending of Henry IV Part 2 can be seen as more tragic than triumphant. We can look at Falstaff to try and answer this question as to whether the play is seen to be more tragic than triumphant. Falstaff is portrayed as a comical character which the audience sympathises with, when Hal rejects Falstaff and leaves him with little it shows us that the audience can see Henry Iv part 2 ending with as tragic. However, some people may argue that the ending may be triumphant for Hal as by rejecting Falstaff he is getting rid of immoral vices which shows us that he can become a great King. ...read more.


Hal publicly humiliates Falstaff and Falstaff's reaction this this creates a sense of pity and sorrow. However, at the beginning Falstaff tries to believe that Hal is joking, Falstaff begins to realise that maybe this isn't the case and we can see that Falstaff is hurt by how Hal has treated him. We begin to sympathise Falstaff and some people would say that the ending is tragic because of this. Others may believe it to be triumphant as it showed us that Hal had the strength to prove to the Lord Chief Justice that he is capable in this new position which he has. It also shows us that England now has the chance to start recovering from everything which had happened in the past from whether it have being from his father and the guilt he witheld but also the disease which had spread over England and was portrayed through many of the characters in the play. ...read more.


From genre of History at this time Elizabeth was unsure of who was going to become the next heir to the throne. This shows us that although they are uncertain of who is next to reign that there will be a great leader. In conclusion, to a certain extent I agree with both sides as to whether this play can be seen as triumphant or tragic. However, in my opinion I would have to say that the play can be seen as triumphant as it showed that Henry V was going to be a good king and that the decision he would have to make later on during his reign would be one for the whole England as he would understand what other people's opinions would be rather than just the courts. Although, for many the play can be seen as tragic as Henry V does reject Falstaff and Falstaff is seen as one of the most known characters in Shakespeare's history plays he will never be forgotten. ...read more.

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