Indignation In King Henry's Failure To Sleep

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King Henry is prodigiously vexed by his inability to sleep. In addressing sleep itself, with the use of an apostrophe, he hopes to persuade it to fall upon him by asking various rhetorical questions. He pleads with sleep for it to abandon its partiality, and bestow upon him some rest, as it does upon the commoners. However, at the end of the passage, his indignation turns into resignation, as he realizes that he can do little to alter his situation. The transition in King Henry 's state of mind is conveyed through the soliloquy 's powerful images, revealing word choice, and peculiar sentence structure. The king feels sorry for himself. He feels that it is not fair that others, even the poor and vile, be able to sleep, and that he, the king, be deprived of rest. He asks sleep why it discriminates against him, and not the commoners, the loathsome members of society, or a ship-boy, whom sleep could lead to death. Henry IV 's indignation is evident as he employs powerful images to contrast his noble situation with the deplorable state of the masses. He refers to their resting place as "smoky cribs" and "loathsome beds", while calling his own "perfum 'd chambers" and "kingly couch". King Henry 's conscience is not free of self-doubt. He believes that he might have done something to scare sleep away and asks it "how (has he) frighted (it)." Because he is deprived of sleep, it is of great value to the king, who refers to it as "Nature 's soft nurse", and "dull god". The contrast
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