Power Struggle In Henry IV And Much Ado About Nothing

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Shakespeare's history plays are known for their power struggles, but they are the driving force within his comedies as well. The way people seek and wield their power are important themes in Henry IV and Much Ado About Nothing. Prince Hal seems to start off as an ineffectual leader, but is quickly revealed to be an adept and powerful prince. His cunning mind and and relaxed attitude make him well-liked by all. Don Pedro is introduced after having won a war, which shows his strength. However, he is also a fun-loving and observant leader. Prince Hal and Don Pedro are both clever, popular, capable rulers who are able to lead their people while still having fun of their own. As Henry IV opens, the king introduces his son by saying that “riot and…show more content…
When King Henry IV scold's Prince Hal for spending too much time with the commoners, he uses a similar analogy to the prince's own line of thought. Prince Hal is compared to the sun, that should only shine so often to be better appreciated. While Prince Hal sees his goodness and virtue and the light from the sun, the king sees it as the royal presence. He condemns the prince for being too seen, “For thou has lost thy princely privilege With vile participation: not an eye But is a-weary of thy common sight” (3.2.86-88). This difference in their rationalism shows who has the superior viewpoint on public perception. Not only are the people still enamoured by Prince Hal, even his enemy is in awe. Sir Vernon describe his siting of the prince with a certain reverence. “I saw young Harry, with his beaver on, His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury, And vaulted with such ease into his seat, As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds” (4.1.103-107) For Prince Hal to not only have such powerful foresight on public image, but also for his battle with Hotspur, indicates that he will become a wise
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