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The Characterisation of Prince Henry In King Henry The IV Part One.

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Introduction

The Characterisation of Prince Henry In King Henry The IV Part One Prince Henry, who is otherwise known as Hal, has a very distinctive character. Although Hal comes across as a ruthless down-class character at the beginning of the play, he later develops and changes, to become the real hero of the play. In scene two of the play, both he and Falstaff provoke each other, in a friendly way, but their relationship has an undercurrent of menace, because Hal is using Falstaff to maintain his "irresponsible and bad" reputation. However, he will forget Falstaff after he has regained his image, that will shock and surprise people, when he changes at the most unexpected of times, as he says in his soliloquy, "so when this loose behaviour I throw off, and pay the debt I ever promised" "by so much I shall falsify men's hopes. And like bright metal on sullen ground, my reformation glitt'ring o'er my fault." Act one Scene Two, Line hundred and seventy-one. Both of these quotations prove strongly that Falstaff is being used for his own benefit. Hal seems also to have the upper hand in the relationship, because Falstaff seems to rely on Hal becoming King. ...read more.

Middle

Maybe it even suggests that people will need him to live, as we need the sun to live. This shows that he will imitate the sun, as the sun is an object of power, which is what Hal will have. Hal avoids trouble all the time and he clearly uses manipulation to do this. He does this by persuasion [cohesion?], and making his father believe that he is innocent, although he is in fact just trying to avoid punishment. This shows that Hal has a very persuasive character as well, enabling him to sway people's thoughts, and feelings to his benefit. He father seems to fall prey very easily to this. This is demonstrated when Hal tells his father he will change, as this is what his father wants to believe as he says, "So please your majesty, I would I could quit all offences with a clear excuse as well as I am doubtless I can purge myself of many I am charged withal." Act Three Scene Two, Line eighteen. He promises to his father, that he would be himself after his father's long speech, but what is his real self? Would his real self be the normal citizen, or the real prince? ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows clearly that Hal can fend for himself and can plan well. He can also be described as a real politician, as he knows exactly what he wants and how to manipulate a situation to his advantage in order get it. Hal also strives for honour and glory. Hal also has natural nobility, which is further seen in his suggestion that he fight a duel with Hotspur in order to avoid the unnecessary deaths that would come with a full-scale battle. His generous praise of Hotspur's character and achievements also shows his un-envious spirit. You earlier said he hates everyone]. There is also no doubt that he is brave When wounded in battle, he refuses to rest, and he jumps in to save Henry from Douglas when the king's life is in danger, "stay and breathe a while thou hast redeemed thy lost opinion, and showed thou mak'st some tender of my life in his fair rescue thou hast brought to me." Act Five Scene Four, Line forty-six. Prince Henry has many different aspects to his character, however, most of the characteristics that he shows are manipulative skills and his intelligence and ability to plan, and that he knows what he is doing all the time. The Characterisation of Prince Henry In King Henry The IV Part One ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Priya Govindia Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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