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

What are the qualities of a good ruler: 'Hal and Hotspur in Henry IV Part 1'.

Extracts from this document...


What are the qualities of a good ruler: 'Hal and Hotspur in Henry IV Part 1' Everyone has a different vision of what makes a good ruler, but to me it is a person who is strong, brave, cunning and ruthless, but knows when to be merciful. These qualities can be seen in Hal Hotspur throughout the play, but which one would be the best next ruler of England? Hal is first portrayed as an irresponsible little boy who does not realise the importance of his position. Yet in his soliloquy he reveals his cunning and his true nature, in the fact that he, 'Yet herein will I imitate the sun'. He is using his 'friends' to make his revelation look even better, 'So when this loose behaviour I throw of, and pay the debt I never promised'. Once he has reformed and it at his fathers side he becomes a very ruthless character, in fact as soon as he gets the order from his farther that he must join the battle ...read more.


This is in fact an extremely brave or perhaps fatally stupid act from Hal as Hotspur is regarded as one of the best swordsmen in England and could face down many opponents. Hal though, does know when to be a merciful person and does recognise the fact that sometimes people are just following orders, this is shown at the end of the battle when he allows Douglas to be free, 'Go to the Douglas, and deliver him up to his pleasure, ransom less and free. His valour shown upon our crests today'. This is also a good political move, as releasing one of their Earls would make relations a lot better.al Hotspur is a very serious person and doesn't believe in anything that he can't see with his own eyes, 'O then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire, and not of your nativity.' He does not believe in the fact that when Glendower was born the earth shook and the heavens were on fire and that he was born to be a great leader and this would allow him and the rebels to defeat the king. ...read more.


convince him to start the rebellion and is the one who later on hides from him the possible chance of peace given by the king, ' O no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard, the liberal and kind offer of the king'. This of course leads to his death in the battle. All this is done in the name of honour. Hotspur is so easily tricked into fighting because of his constant strive for honour, everything he does is in the name of honour. He is very much a mans man and will not show any sign of weakness, this is his weakness and the downfall of him. Both Hal and Hotspur would make good kings, but Hotspur's rashness and constant honour drive, would make him a dangerous king of England and could lead to the destruction of all that is England. Whereas Hal would be a perfect candidate for the English crown and as history shows he goes on to become one of the greatest kings of England. Luke Jones 10K ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Henry V essays

  1. How does Henry demonstrate his skills as an orator in his speeches at Farfleur ...

    by letting the brow overhang the eye - Like a sea wrecked cliff. In doing this he makes his men believe that they can do this and that they can win this war. Matthew Russell 11WDW Henry V How does Henry demonstrate his skills as an orator in his speeches at Farfleur and Agincourt.

  2. How does Shakespeare show the qualities of kingship in Henry V

    This is one of the most famous lines in the play. It shows Shakespeare portraying Henry as a monarch ready to give up his existence for his country. This shows the sacrifices he is willing to make and to even become a martyr due to this all in the aid of the country, and the love he possesses for it.

  1. An Exploration of Shakespeare(TM)s Presentation of the King in Henry V(TM).

    For instance, the quotation 'Hear him debate of commonwealth affair' further develops Shakespeare's imagery of Henry as an intelligent and 'good' king. Qualities, such as leadership, religious tolerance and political wisdom are usually associated with an "ideal" king, and Henry seems to possess all these virtues.

  2. Was Henry V an inspiring leader or a cold and severe king?

    "Your fathers taken by the silver beards, and the most reverend heads dashed to the walls." This shows Henry's ruthlessness because it is a malicious thing to do, but Henry is doing it in the best interest of his country as by making Harfleur surrender, he is limiting the loss of men from his army.


    The public speaking and the persuasiveness come in now when he makes the two most well known speeches - Harfleur (act 3 scene 1) 'once more unto the breach dear friends' and the st Crispin's day speech (act 4 scene 3) 'this day is called the feast of saint Crispian'.

  2. In Henry IV Part 1, the transformation of Hal is central to Shakespeares presentation ...

    Most of Shakespeare's well-known work was written between 1590 and 1613. He wrote mainly histories and comedies at the beginning of his career, then mainly tragedies which included what is considered by some to be the finest work in the English language.

  1. Is Falstaff truer to himself and to others in Henry IV, Part One than ...

    His actions are not orientated to satisfy his wishes and desires, which supports the fact that he is not as true to himself as Falstaff is. Flastaff is concentrated on his own wishes and desires; he is not obliged to put on an appearence that succeeds in seducing his father and nation.

  2. Henry VI Part 1.

    When he is referring to himself as "the Prince of Wales" here he is turning a new leaf and once again juxtaposing himself so he needs to stand similar to that of a victorious boxer, chest out hands on hips looking very proud with his chin up, delivering his lines with maximum confidence.

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