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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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

    He intends to "heal the torn nation and acquire the moral authority that his reign lacks"-Kaston. Therefore Henry looks to the crusade to unify England by unifying the nobles against one common enemy. He also wants to "purge the Holy Land of the pagans," but in truth Henry wants to purge himself of his guilty conscience.

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

    Being honourable doesn't make you a good leader it is the opposite in fact. Hal is a good leader and he is quite dishonourable, Hotspur is the epitome of honour but isn't a good leader. To be a good leader you need to be able to use rhetoric and be very cunning and a bit dishonest.

  1. In his opening soliloquy, the true nature of Richards character is revealed, his villainy ...

    This is stark proof of his ruthlessness, also serving as a foreshadow to the further evil that he was to commit with the progression of the plot. It is interesting to note that Shakespeare chooses to put Richard's self-depreciating lines before his plans.

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

    The tone of the extract passage is strong. There are uses of exclamation marks, for example: "Off with his son George's head!" to show the wrath of Richard. Richard also poses questions. For example: "Shall these enjoy our lands?


    In the battle of Shrewsbury he decides not to send his military forces, which ultimately leads to the demise of his son, Harry Hotspur. Therefore later in the play when the rebellion forces call upon him once again his refusal to send troops to aid his son introduces an element

  2. To what extent does Falstaffs role transcend that of a buffon in henry IV ...

    Falstaff may rob the traveller at Gadshill, but others have stolen or are planning to steal the entire kingdom. In a world where the leaders hold no regard for morality in their pursuit of power and manipulate language to suit their political purposes, Falstaff's actions appear less reprehensible than they otherwise might.

  1. How far do you agree that the ending of Henry IV (part 2) is ...

    From Henry IV part 1 and 2 we can see how Henry V begins to mature. In part 1 we see that Hal wanted to enjoy himself and Falstaff taught him this way of life in socialising and drinking. However, this was no way for the new King of England to be when he comes to throne.

  2. Write a dramatic monologue in the style of Aaron reflecting on the motivation for ...

    I have reflected this in my monologue by using directional hypothesis in his words. ?Tongue will be dealt with? ?lightning will have struck down? by using the word ?will? it is showing his determination in his planning. ?Continues to approach the great Aaron and interfere with his master plans?

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