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How are the two sides of Prince Henry's nature conveyed in this passage? Look at the apparent banter between Henry and Poins. Henry's apparent dissatisfaction at the philandering, tavern lifestyle manifests itself in act two scene two

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Introduction

How are the two sides of Prince Henry's nature conveyed in this passage? Look at the apparent banter between Henry and Poins. Henry's apparent dissatisfaction at the philandering, tavern lifestyle manifests itself in act two scene two. His schizophrenic behaviour conveys both a juvenile, libertine boy, as well as a colder, pragmatic Prince. These two juxtaposing sides of Henry's nature are exemplified in the ambiguity of his banter with Poins, who seems unaware of Henrys boredom with the tavern. On the surface therefore, we see the same humorous, decadent Prince. In reality however, Henry's irreverence towards his former friend's portrays a more calculated, darker man, eager to emancipate himself from the sensualistic tavern world that imprisons him. The Page acts as an example of the hugely detrimental effects the tavern world can have and, at this point somewhat mirrors Henry's own position. ...read more.

Middle

We see this same dissatisfaction and longing for freedom in Henry's boredom at he beginning of the scene. He is obviously tired of the monotony and hedonism prevalent throughout tavern life and the first thing he says to Poins is 'Before God I am exceedingly weary'. The metaphor of 'the small beer' is then used to represent Henry's self disgust at his 'desire' for drinking the watered down ale of the taverns instead of the rich beer of the courts. These comments (being so early in the scene) can be interpreted as slightly ironic since the Prince has come into the tavern then immediately expressed his boredom and dissatisfaction at it. The two sides of Henry's nature are therefore exemplified as he paradoxically wants to live out his libertine lifestyle and drink the 'small beer' but is disgusted at the weariness and boredom this life invokes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Henry is in a transition from his juvenile libertine lifestyle to a more calculated pragmatic man. We see hints that he might turn into a man like his father with cold monosyllabic phrases such as 'let the end try the man'. Alternatively, he is still in the immature na�ve state of mind at the end of the scene when he concerned at playing a joke to see 'Falstaff's true colours' without 'himself being seen'. These two juxtaposing attitudes convey Henrys double sided nature and show he is in an internal struggle between two different frames of mind. Overall, Henry's actions are interpreted by the tavern folk as being harmless but they do realise his gross dissatisfaction at tavern life and his attempts to change this behaviour. . He is however in a period of self disgust and self loathing, although he has not yet emancipated himself from the chains of immaturity and is still in a transition towards being a pragmatic, machiavellian king. ...read more.

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