Henry IV Part 1

The role of people and politics in I, Claudius and King Henry IV part 1 12th Grade

Individuals in power play a dangerous game as their agenda and leadership skills can subsequently result in the demise of a governing system, hence demanding the engagement with the political process. Shakespeare’s historical play king Henry IV part 1 endorses the Tudor view of the War of Roses as it represents the complexities of individual motivations and actions. This political text unearths characteristics of a leader that are disadvantageous; foreshadowing rebellion. In Robert Grave’s novel I, Claudius the corruption of Ancient Rome is evident through the exploration of manipulative women in a male dominant society, as well as the nepotism that secures power.

Qualities of leadership are highlighted in Shakespeare’s King Henry IV through the embodiment of characters that can reflect the dangers of indifference. Prince Hal’s language acquisition crystalizes his ability to govern as ‘he can tinker with any man in his own language’ hence associating with commoners in the tavern world, as well as royals in the political sphere. Hal’s language, speech and rhetoric is aligned with authority and control, despite Hal spending a lot of time with the larrikin Falstaff (subversive leader of the commoners). He also shifts to a role...

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