My second swim into the history plays finds me with Henry IV, part 1. Not bad. I felt the play started off a little slow. There is a lot of build up to the final show down, and some strange parts that I chalk up to the time and the style of literature. I understand the need for comic relief, but much of the Falstaff stuff at the begin seemed very out of place.
Character development seemed peculiar in this play as well. Again, I take into account that at the time many would have known the characters much like we know George Washington, and so indepth character development isn’t needed. Prince Hal, however, is a strange character. He is almost a deliquent at the beginning and makes a sudden turn about with really not much prompting. By today’s standards of publishing, I don’t think this would have worked.
The thing that I liked the most about this play is that it kep things light in many ways. Although, I felt the humor was too much at the beginning by the end in the battle scenes, the use of Falstaff as such a bafoonish character helped the story. Also the play was full of puns, which at times seemed jarring, but taken as a whole made much sense.
I’ll now move on to the next part of this saga. I’m interested in seeing what will happen next in the life of Henry IV.