Kingship In The Henriad

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The Reality of Kingship In the Henriad Both historical and modern royal lives are envied by the common man. People observe the endless services, elegant clothing, and extravagant property provided to royalty and wish they, too, could have royal blood. The most envied royal position is the King who has the most power and seemingly convenient life. What seems like a dream to the observer is a nightmare to the participant. As portrayed in the Shakespeare’s tetralogy being a king is a sacrificial commitment in which one must be willing to face the obstacles of making only wise decisions, being robbed of at any moment, and losing friendships. Having the ability to make good decisions is imperative to being an effective king. It is expected by his subjects that the king will never make the wrong decision. If the king makes even one unfavorable decisions, he must face the public scrutiny of all of his followers. The king is expected to make…show more content…
In Henry IV Part 1, Worcester says to King Henry IV that the rebels “were the first and dearest of your friends” (5.1.35). This is ironic because he is saying this as the rebels are about to have a bloody war with the King in which they are willing to take the lives of the king himself and his son away. Likewise, kings themselves must prepared to be the ones to destroy a friendship. In Henry IV Part 1, Hal “takes the opportunity to rehearse in comic terms the devastating attack that he will make on Falstaff at the end of Part 2, and his reply to Falstaff’s request not to banish him is the simple, chilling ‘I do, I will’” (Legatt 247). Hal is prepared to give up his friendship early into the play which the reader discovers when Hal says to himself, “I know you all,, and will awhile uphold The unyoked humor of your idleness” (1.2.202-3). As awful as it may seem, Hal cannot have criminal friends as king and must sacrifice his
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