english term paper

english term paper - E nglish Term Paper Analysis of Prince...

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English Term Paper Analysis of Prince Hall in Henry IV Part 1 Prince Hal of Henry IV Part 1 is an ambiguous and oft-maligned character whose conflict of identity lies at the heart of Shakespeare’s play. Hal’s actions have been called manipulative, cold-hearted, and even cruel, but he is not without emotion and he only does what is necessary to become a good king. Shakespeare explores the values which Hal must possess to be a ruler in order to interrogate the characteristics of a noble king. The psychomachia 1 is a convention of medieval morality plays, and translates as ‘battle of souls’. In morality plays, psychomachia involves characters that represent various concepts, such as vice, virtue, and the everyman. Vice would tempt the everyman and try to overcome virtue, but ultimately virtue would always win out. The figure of Vice is found in Henry IV in the form of Jack Falstaff, who lives a life of crime and joviality. Falstaff spends his days in taverns and brothels, drinking, joking, telling grandiose lies, and plotting crimes. Falstaff is the embodiment of what Hal must avoid if he is to be a good ruler. King Henry despairs of the “riot and dishonor [that] stain the brow” (1.1.84) of his son, and he fears that Hal will disgrace himself and not prove to be a suitable heir. If Hal were to inherit Falstaff’s characteristics, his rule would be that of “a Lord of Misrule, [which] might develop into the anarchic reign of a favorite dominating a dissolute king.” (Barber 54) If Falstaff is Hal’s ‘bad angel’, then Hotspur can be considered to some extent his ‘good angel.’ While Hal wastes away his days drinking and entertaining himself with Falstaff and his 1 Prudentius, a Late Antiquity Latin poet, wrote a poem called Psychomachia in about 400 A.D. This poem was the first in a long tradition of medieval allegory which includes works such as the Roman de la Rose and Piers Plowman . Your Name Page 1
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friends, Hotspur is a valiant warrior who lives by a chivalric code 2 of honor. King Henry expresses his dissatisfaction with his son compared to Hotspur several times, and comments that he wishes Hotspur had been his son rather than Hal. Henry tells Hal that “[Hotspur] hath more
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english term paper - E nglish Term Paper Analysis of Prince...

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