Henry IV Part 2

Honorable Mentions College

Honorable Mentions

The characters Prince Hal and King Henry in William Shakespeare’s drama Henry IV portray an unlikely father-son relationship. Shakespeare demonstrates Prince Hal's fate by associating him with consistent approaches of negative influences. These forces mainly come from his father, King Henry IV, and the friendship with the worthless acquaintance Falstaff. Aside from the extremely high expectations from his father, Prince Hal deals with the constant comparison of himself and the nobleman Hotspur. These three influences shape Hal into an important leader, which essentially is a fundamental part of his training to become an ideal ruler. In the play, the concept of honor presents a pivotal role through the characters; each character perceives the concept differently. Evidently, the uncertain concept leads them to different courses of action. The idea of honor changes between each individual and in this way the theme of honor does not have one specific meaning. Instead, the word contains multiple meanings due to the characters’ different interpretations of it.

These three distinct people, Falstaff, Hotspur, and Prince Hal, all view the concept of honor in unique ways. While Hotspur and Hal ideally perceive...

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