Act One: Dads and Bros, Real and Fake

Yesterday, we introduced the four men who appear on stage as The First Part of Henry the Fourth begins. While the choice of characters is interesting, the king’s first words are interesting, too: “So shaken as we are, so wan with care” (I.i.1). This is NOT a king who is at the height of his powers. At the end of Richard the Second, Henry had proclaimed “a voyage to the Holy Land” (RII, to “the sepulcher of Christ” (I.i.19) in Jerusalem, and that plan (at least for the first 40 lines) is still in place.
Continue reading “Act One: Dads and Bros, Real and Fake”

Act One: Entrance and Relationship

Act One, Scene One of The First Part of Henry the Fourth opens with entrance of Henry IV (Bolingbroke from Richard the Second), Lord John of Lancaster, the Earl of Westmoreland, Sir Walter Blunt, and others. Just who are these guys?
Continue reading “Act One: Entrance and Relationship”

New Month… Bring on Prince Hal

Welcome December, and our own little holiday gift to you, The First Part of Henry the Fourth.

Many critics have called this play, its sequel, and the crowd-pleaser that follows (Henry the Fifth) the Henriad. That works for me.

Beginning reading it, I’m finding SOOO much foreshadowing… Willie boy MUST have known he was going to take this all the way to Henry V (and he does a pretty good job linking back to Richard the Second as well).