What is the role of disguise and masks in the play?
Disguises, masks, and costumes are used throughout the play. Henry's counselors talk about how they have commissioned the finest costumes in order to create the illusion for Henry that they are living in the eleventh century. Everyone who enters Henry's world is required to wear a costume and assume a character in order to not agitate his presumed madness. At the end of Act II, the audience learns that Henry's madness itself is a disguise that he has chosen to assume. He talks about having been trapped behind the mask of his madness when he truly believed he was Henry IV, then assuming this disguise in order to deal with...
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