Honor In Shakespeare's Henry IV

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Honorable Intentions: (A discussion of Shakespeare’s play Henry IV and its ideas about honor) Honorable has been used to describe men, women, actions, ideas, and codes of behavior for centuries. This word has taken many meanings and connotations. The conception of honor varies from person to person. Shakespeare’s play Henry IV is one example of variety of definitions. In the first part of the play, two scenes depict two different character’s views on honor. One scene shows Hotspur, a young nobleman; he discusses with other characters his unhappiness with the current King. Worcester proposes to him a plot and Hotspur’s response reveals his conception of honor. The other scene shows Falstaff, who is known more for his wit and drinking than ambition or courage; on the eve of battle he reveals his view of honor. From their individual scenes it is inferred that Hotspur sees honor as a godlike attribute that adorns men with prestige, while Falstaff’s view is more cynical; he believes that honor is a joke and that it is worthless pursuit in this life. Hotspur’s view of honor is revealed in his answer to…show more content…
To Hotspur, honor is a trophy to be own and a reward to relish in. On the other hand, Falstaff views honor as a pointless endeavor and only achievable in death therefore worthless. Hotspur uses mostly metaphors to capture his feelings about honor. From the situations, we know that both of their interpretations are based on their desires. Hotspur is plotting against the King and is using honor to justify his behaviors. Falstaff doesn’t want to fight so he discredits honor so not to feel guilty for having a lack of it. Both men manipulate their definition of honor to fit their situations and desires. They use figurative language as logic for their arguments. They want to convince themselves and others they are right so they don’t have to feel guilty for their
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