Henry IV Part 1

Relations On the Stage Between Older and Younger Men in 1 Henry IV and As You Like It

Compare the relations between older and younger men in the following extracts; pay close attention to the use of dramatic language and the opportunities offered by the text for different emphases in production: 1 Henry IV, 2.4.109-62 (Bevington ed., pp. 182-6) and As You Like It, 2.3.27-77 (Brissenden ed., pp. 131-3)

The two extracts differ dramatically in their approach to the relations between older and younger men. In summary, the As You Like It scene is serious and moving, conducted in verse, concerned with issues of faithfulness, and uses Biblical references for metaphors. The scene from Henry IV is humorous, conducted in prose, concerned with betrayal and falsehood, (even if it is set in a farcical context,) and refers to common sayings in its metaphors and oaths. Both scenes examine the comparison of an old world to the new, to different levels of significance. The potential exists in both scenes to perform them in opposition to the audiences expectations - comic elements could be introduced into the As You Like It scene, and the Henry IV scene could be darkened in places.

The extract from Henry IV is conducted in prose throughout; its use can be allotted by social distinction, for superior characters to inferiors, or it...

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