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

What makes Prince Hal an Unusual Hero?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What makes Prince Hal an Unusual Hero? What makes Prince Hal an unusual hero? This question is filled with many different opinions and views, which sometimes all contradict each other. From the very beginning of the play, we see Prince Hal and Falstaff sitting in the Boars Head Tavern in East cheap drinking. This is the place where Hal and Falstaff spend the majority of their time, and almost every scene they are in is set here. This initial portrayal of Prince Hal as a lazy drunk who spends his time with unsavoury characters, does not give the impression of a hero at all. At first glance he seems to have no understanding of how a true Prince should behave. From the outset, the King is seen making a comparison between his son, Prince Hal and the more honourable Harry Hotspur (Act 1, Scene 1, 77-87) He wishes that Hotspur was his son, a great man possessing all the characteristics a Prince should have, bravery, loyalty and respect. ...read more.

Middle

This is yet another piece of evidence that contributes to the reputation Hal builds for himself as a lazy, alcoholic, unpleasant person. However, we see a glimmer of hope for the lazy, unpleasant Prince Hal at the end of Act 1, Scene 2 in his first soliloquy. A side of Hal is shown that distinguishes him from the apparent honourable Hotspur. "...when this loose behaviour I throw off, And pay the debt I never promised, By how much better than my word I am, By so much shall I falsify men's hopes." The debt he has promised to pay is to his father and also to his country. However, is it possible for Prince Hal to prove himself when the time comes? And is this speech believable? As we get further into the play another side of Prince Hal starts to emerge. After the robbery had taken place Prince Hal plays a joke on Falstaff who claims that after the robbery he was robbed himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Falstaff turns up with the dead body of Hotspur, claiming to have killed him. Prince Hal replies "If a lie may do the grace, I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have." Hal then tells the king he has Douglas prisoner and asks if he may have to honour of disposing of this fiend. Naturally the King agrees. Hal decides to free Douglas but gives the honour of doing so to his younger brother John. This is very important because Hal has now given up the honour of killing Hotspur, defeating Douglas, and freeing Douglas. Hal has now gained the respect of his father and defeated the very person that the King had initially admired over his own son. This change in the character of Hal at the end could not have been predicted. Throughout the play Hal had hinted that perhaps he would finally show his true colours, but it was not all fully believable. However, Hal does finally become the true hero of the play that nobody expected. Stephen Bishop - 1 - 14/2/2002 Words: 840 ...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. Media Comparative Essay: (in the medium of film) concerning the 2 well known film ...

    Branagh commences the scene with a biblical element before dialogue, to hold religious sentiment by means of a priest amidst the soldiers. This is creative on Branagh's part in composing an extra-script character to create dramatic irony in what he intends to discuss in his argument further on.

  2. English/ English Literature Joint Coursework Folder

    He brilliantly uses the fire to flicker light on to the faces of those around it. Olivier possibly uses it in an advantageous manner using the flickering and shadowing of the fire to mysteriously hide the character's facial expressions. Branagh replicates Olivier's effect with his own fire.

  1. What are the functions of the Chorus in Shakespeare's Henry V?

    Branagh chose to display the chorus in a format that gives you a little narrative, then a scene with the French, then some more narrative and then a scene with Henry. Whereas Shakespeare simply showed the French, the entire chorus, and then the English.

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Hal and Falstaff in the tavern in Act II Scene ...

    'Love' suggests that Falstaff likes Hal, and wants Hal to love him. Throughout the scene, Hal is definetly presented as devious and cunning.

  1. Media Comparative Essay: Concerning the 2 well known film versions of Shakespeare's Henry V ...

    Olivier uses the effect of a fire realistically in a low visibility environment. He brilliantly uses the fire to flicker light on to the faces of those around it. Olivier possibly uses it in an advantageous manner using the flickering and shadowing of the fire to mysteriously hide the character's facial expressions.

  2. "Falstaff is a dreadful character in every way yet the audience cannot help but ...

    for powder and filled a pit as well as any other men. Dishonesty forms a key part in Falstaff's life, in the Gadshill robbery Falstaff wanted to share the money out between the gang first and leaving the smaller amount for Poins and Hal to share.

  1. How Successfully Does Shakespeare Present To An Audience Henry As The 'Ideal King'

    The next day was 25th of October, St. Crispin's day and the French vastly outnumbering the English were expecting a humiliating negotiated settlement. Negotiations ended at an early stage and both sides prepared for battle. The French though weren't to be rushed and at 8:00 am had breakfast, laughing and joking.

  2. Hotspur dismisses Hal contemptuously as “The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales”. How would you ...

    by the people in the tavern and uses it to his full advantage in one case to get free drinks, "... so far as my coin would stretch, and where it would not, I have used my credit". The tavern's people speak to the Prince as if he is a

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