Nobility and Commoners in Shakespeare's "King Henry IV" Analytical Essay by Hepkitty

Nobility and Commoners in Shakespeare's "King Henry IV"
Character analysis of the main characters in "King Henry IV".
# 49336 | 2,171 words | 0 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Mar 02, 2004 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Henry IV, V) , Shakespeare (General)

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This paper presents a character analysis of Henry and Hal, two of the main characters in Shakespeare's play, "King Henry IV", and shows how Shakespeare, by comparing and contrasting these two characters, was able to display the attitudes of both the nobility and the commoners and foreshadow Hal's ability to become a stable, successful ruler.

From the Paper:

"Hal's feelings towards his father reflect the feelings of the commoners towards the king. Hal's soliloquy, "I know you all..." (I, ii 183-205) reveals Hal's moral awareness and scorn towards the character he has used to disguise his true frustration with the standards that the king has disgraced. A noble and virtuous young man deliberately masquerading as a dissolute prodigal, Hal is not likely to overlook the deep moral blemishes in his father nor the hypocrisy of Henry IV's assumption of rightful kingship. However, as the King's subject and heir, Hal is denied all means of expressing his contempt for the dishonorable means by which Henry IV has maintained and stolen power. By showing contempt for the king, Hal would be following the example of Henry IV's disloyal behavior towards Richard II, and siding with the rebels who now challenge Henry IV's fitness to rule."

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"Nobility and Commoners in Shakespeare's "King Henry IV"" 02 March 2004. Web. 08 December. 2023. <>