William Shakespeare's "Richard II" and "Henry IV" Comparison Essay by Peter Pen

William Shakespeare's "Richard II" and "Henry IV"
This paper discuss the relationship between kingship and identity in William Shakespeare's plays "Richard II" and "Henry IV".
# 95451 | 2,790 words | 3 sources | APA | 2007

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This paper explains that, in "Richard II" and "Henry IV", William Shakespeare explores the issue of kingship by depicting Richard II and Henry IV as polar opposites. The author points out that Richard II, whose claim to the throne is considered legitimate but whose ability to lead is poor, is regarded as the complacent and lyrical king; whereas, Henry IV, whose claim to the throne in terms of the laws of succession is unstable, has won the support of the people based on his merit. The paper stresses that the perspective of Hal benefits from the experience of both his predecessors in that he is the legal successor to his father. The paper includes several quotations.

From the Paper:

"Shakespeare has an ambivalent attitude towards kingship. He does provide an argument in favor of rightful succession to Richard's throne and the maintenance of traditional values embodied in the crown and the state under its rule, in the voice of Carlisle, for example. Yet at the same time, he clearly illustrates the destructive nature of kingship on the individual behind the crown. There are moral questions raised which are never answered which in itself casts doubt on the values inherent in kingship. For example, we are never provided with a suitable moral explanation for, and are never really comfortable with, Hal's renouncement of Falstaff."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Orgel, S (2002) The Complete Pelican Shakespeare London: Penguin Classics
  • Jowett, J; Montgomery, M; Taylor, G, and Wells, S. (2005)The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works - Second Edition Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • www.sparknotes.com

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

William Shakespeare's "Richard II" and "Henry IV" (2007, May 23) Retrieved March 04, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/william-shakespeare-richard-ii-and-henry-iv-95451/

MLA Format

"William Shakespeare's "Richard II" and "Henry IV"" 23 May 2007. Web. 04 March. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/william-shakespeare-richard-ii-and-henry-iv-95451/>