Henry IV, part 1

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.


Vic Kerry


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