William Shakespeare Essays

Henry IV Part 1

Arguably, Hal, Prince of Wales, underwent a gargantuan transformation throughout the course of 1 Henry IV. As an audience we are thrust into the middle of conflict concerning the prince. At the onset of the play, the Son of the King is portrayed...

Henry IV Part 1

In Henry IV, Part One, Shakespeare tackles the subject of honorable rebellion, primarily through the duality of the two characters of Prince Hal and Hotspur. Hal is the offspring of King Henry IV, who attained the throne of England through a...

Henry IV Part 1

It can be difficult for the modern reader to appreciate the power struggle underlying HENRY IV, Part 1 (1H4). As causes of the War of the Roses and the struggles of the House of Lancaster recede from memory, it is useful to have a lens through...

Hamlet

Several of Shakespeare’s plays, including historical and tragedy, involve the political intrigue which results in the killing of a king. While the action revolving around this event may involve many more obvious themes, it is interesting to note...

Henry IV Part 1

Though Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part One is ostensibly about the titular character and his son, the future King Henry V, both Henry's are constantly upstaged by Sir John Falstaff. Falstaff is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved and enduring...

College

Henry IV Part 1

Aristotle breaks down the plot of the tragedy into three parts, reversal, recognition and catharsis. Shakespeare includes all three components of plot in his play,Henry IV Part I. He establishes a tragic hero, Harry Percy, and allows him to rise...

College

Henry IV Part 1

Authors often perform the task of cultural historians, eternalizing with their written word the popular perspectives and social opinions of their time. Shakespeare himself perfectly encapsulated in his writing the Renaissance mentality towards...

College

Henry IV Part 1

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...

College

Richard II

In Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V, Shakespeare appears on a micro level not to support divine right as characters throughout the plays consistently disrespect God and try to act above Him, yet when viewed more holistically it is clear that...

Richard II

How valid is the distinction between history and tragedy in Richard II?

An attempt to sort Shakespeare's plays into neat categories may appear to have its benefits when striving to understand his work, but even a superficial reading of Richard II...

Richard II

Shakespeare's genius in character and plot development is exemplified in two of his most complex history plays, Richard II and Henry IV, Part I. With these sequential plays, Shakespeare vividly develops characters and sets up complicated plots by...