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Henry IV Part 1 - Act 2 Scene 4 - Lines 312-330.

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Introduction

Henry IV Part 1 - Act 2 Scene 4 - Lines 312-330 A jovial atmosphere hangs in the air of the small side-room of the Boar's Head. All the regulars are there, drinking their lives away, laughing and joking without a care in the world. The exhausted waiters are rushing about the room, trying to meet the ever-increasing quota of sack demanded by the huge number of customers. In fact, there is not a metre of space to be seen, apart from the small gap in the centre of the room, where Prince Henry and Jack Falstaff are laughing and joking exuberantly. The crowd of drunkards are also laughing and joking amongst themselves, but their attention is gradually being drawn to the conversation taking place in the middle of the room. ...read more.

Middle

"But tell me, Hal, art not thou horribly afeared?" bellows the prince's chubby companion, "Thou being heir-apparent, could the world pick thee out three such enemies again as that fiend Douglas, that spirit Percy, and that devil Glendower? Art thou not horribly afraid? Doth not thy blood thrill at it?" he shrills. There is a sudden silence, as the crowd earnestly await his response. "Not a whit, i'faith" he shrugs nonchalantly, invoking raucous cheers from his captive audience. "I lack some of thy instinct". "Well, thou wilt be horribly chid tomorrow when thou comest to thy father." Falstaff declares in an over-exaggeratedly pedantic manner. He thinks for a moment. "If thou love me, practice an answer." ...read more.

Conclusion

"Thy state is taken for a joint-stool, thy golden sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich crown for a pitiful bold crown" Hal interrupts scornfully, to a chorus of "Oooooooohs". These lines clearly show the difference between Falstaff and Hal. This is the voice of prompt, fanciful imagination, followed by the voice of down-to-earth realism. This part should be emphasised and perhaps over-exaggerated so that the audience realise its significance in the play. "Well, an the fire of grace be not quite out of thee, now shalt thou be moved. Give me a cup of sack to make my eyes look red, that it may be thought I have wept, for I must speak in passion, and I will do it in King Cambyses' vein." Falstaff proclaims, managing to think of a fairly plausible reason for downing another cup of his favourite beverage. ...read more.

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