Henry IV

4 April 2015
A discussion of the traits of courage and justice in two important characters in this Shakespearean play.

This paper examines courage and justice as seen in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV Part I. An analysis of the story reveals Shakespeare’s views of the virtues of kings through his comparison of the characters of King Henry IV and his son Prince Hal. Examples from the text are provided to compare and contrast these character traits in the two characters.
“Henry IV Part 1 is one of the greatest history plays by Shakespeare because it doesn’t focus on the intricacies of politics but tries to highlight the essential virtues of a king in the making. It is important to study this play as a prelude to its subsequent parts because here we encounter all the important characters and playwright offers us a rare insight into the characters of both the King Henry IV and his son.

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While it is easy to read the play like any other history plays with battles and political treachery dominating the entire plot, but I personally believe that this play was written to comment on what should be the essential traits present in the future king of England. Shakespeare also invites his readers to compare the character of son with that of his father’s who was known as a usurper because he snatched power from Richard II.”

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