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In What Ways an To What Extent Does Act 1 Scene 4 Present the Audience With a Satisfactory Resolution To the Play?

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Introduction

AMDG Lawrence Ward In what ways an to what extent does Act 1 scene 4 present the audience with A satisfactory resolution to the play? Act 5 scene 4 can be regarded as the focal point of the play, (In this scene, we have the battle of Shrewsbury). Throughout the play, various conflicts and rivalries build up and at the battle of Shrewsbury (these conflicts and rivalries) reach their climaxes. Right from the beginning of the play in act 1 scene 1 conflicts are building. In this play we have two plots, the first one which is the main one concerns Henry 1V and the rebellion. Then we have the sub-plot, which is the friendship between Hal and Falstaff. From these two plots spawn other conflicts e.g. the rivalry between Hal and Hotspur, and within these conflicts we have other conflicts e.g. that between Henry and Hal. All of these various conflicts come together at the battle of Shrewsbury. One of the main reasons that the effect of this conflict was so successful is the fact that Shakespeare kept them apart right up until the battle of Shrewsbury. The rivalry between Hal and Hotspur is one we watch grow right from the beginning. In act 1, enryHHnhhhhhh Henry compares the two. He speaks very highly of Hotspur and describes his as 'a son who is the theme of honours tongue'. ...read more.

Middle

At the battle of Shrewsbury, Hal does win; Hal kills Hotspur, good triumphs over evil. This event shows Hal's true colours, he 'rises from behind those base contagious clouds' as he said he would. Any doubts we had about Hotspur are resolved. He shows his father and us (the audience) he is honourable, he makes his father proud. The family conflict between Henry and Hal is one, which is to an extent, decided half way through. In Hal's soliloquy we are told how Hal will come out of his shell and prove himself. The main theme in this conflict is respect and loyalty. When his father confronts Hal, he tells his father how he will prove himself. Hal's brother has taken his place in council, he is known by many because he hangs around with people like Falstaff, robbers and lowlifes. Henry tells him how he has lost all of his respect, both from the peoples and Henry. Henry says some harsh things, which must hurt Hal's pride, however Hal stands tall. My first impression of Henry was one of a very noble king who was respected by most of his subjects. He had overthrown the previous king, so was obviously very strong. However by overthrowing a king you break the chain of divine right. This somehow overshadows his glory of becoming king. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is very powerful. Whilst they are play-acting the subject of banishing Falstaff comes up. Falstaff starts talking about how great and noble he is. Falstaff says (as king) 'Banish plump jack, and banish all the world.' (Act 2 scene 4: 489-490). Falstaff is hinting to Hal that when Hal becomes king, Falstaff does not want to be banished. This is only conflict, which is not fully resolved. At the end of act 5 scene 4, after Hal has killed Hotspur, Falstaff comes across Hotspur's body and sticks a dagger in his side to make sure he is dead. He then takes credit for killing Hotspur; Hal lets him get away with it, at this point we ask ourselves, why? We don't find out in this play. The answer lies in Henry IV part 1. Act 5 Scene 4 is, as I said, the main focus point of the play. Good triumphs over evil, everything is resolved. Hotspur is dead, Hal saved his father's life, but, although the battle has been won, the war is not yet over, there are still rebels in background. Glendower is not yet dead, he is still a threat. The war is all but over. However, one may argue that there will always be someone who opposes the monarchy, whether or not something else may happen we don't know. Falstaff is still around, and more big headed than ever. Hal has let him get away with claiming to kill Hotspur; does Hal have a master plan? We just don't know. ...read more.

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