Shakespeare's Henry IV-Royal Or Rascal

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Royal or Rascal In William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, two clashing forces distract the son of King Henry IV who is Prince Henry, or better known as Hal. As a young adult, the social life is the life he wants. Hal has a rebellious, blithe act that embodies him for the majority of the play. Sir John Falstaff, the lackadaisical, alcoholic and surrogate father of Hal accompanies him through his rascal lifestyle because he sees these qualities of Prince Hal as enticing. King Henry IV however, sees his son as lacking decorum. Instead of showing courtliness and modesty that Hal knows he must, he is apathetic towards responsibilities until he realizes, it is time to gain the trust back from his father. Hal has an obligation as the Prince and King-to-be…show more content…
I’ll so offend to make offense a skill, redeeming time when men think least I will. (I.14.192-196.) The whole goal of his act is to make his transformation into this esteemed man worthy of the throne more noticeable to the people; he can be applauded even more for his actions as King. Furthermore, Hal and Falstaff later rehearse an act between a potential conversation with the King and Prince Hal in the tavern at Eastcheap. This is one of the first scenes in which the true princely instinct of Hal is apparent as he tells Falstaff that in the future, he will have to let go of him, the others, and these inappropriate habits: Falstaff: …therefore more valiant being as he is old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry’s company, banish not him thy Harry’s company—banish plump Jack, and banish all the world. Prince: I do, I will.…show more content…
In this heated conversation, the King claims that Hal is up to no good; the King does not have confidence and assurance that he is fit to run a kingdom. Hal already knows how he should act but does not, so he can impress people like the King. He promises the King, “I shall hereafter, my thrice gracious lord, be more myself.” (III.2.92.) Hal’s plan to get into mischief before he changes disappoints King and ruins the potential for the King to be proud and assured that Hal will grow up to make use of, “the greatness of thy blood and hold their level.” (III.2.16). This engenders Hal to finally commence his new perspective on how to act, or perhaps one that he already knew was within him. is the first time Hal finally shows signs of progress and taking things into his own hands. Because of the promise of defeating Percy in battle, Hal is very serious and deems it imperative for him to fulfill this task, he would rather, “…die a hundred thousand deaths, Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.” (III.2.158.) This line contributes to the various themes of the play on family relationships, power, and the true meaning of honor; it is the first time in the play that Hal is resolute in his promise—it is not the usual humor that is expected of Hal from his past behaviors. Instead of Hal’s actions adding disorder to the kingdom, he is doing the opposite namely, affirming to his responsibilities. Along with undertaking new responsibilities,
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