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Henry IV Pt 1

Written: c. 1596-97; Texts: Quartos 1598, 1599, 1604, 1608, 1613, 1622; First Folio 1623 (History)
Sources: Holinshed, Raphael (c. 1528-c. 1580). The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland. (2nd ed., 1587); Daniel, Samuel (c.1562-1619). The Civil Wars between the Two Houses of Lancaster and York (1595-1609); The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth (c. 1594); William Baldwin ed. The Mirror for Magistrates (1559 ed.); Stow, John (1525-c.1605) The Chronicles of England (1580)
Characters: Hotspur (Henry Percy), Prince Hal (Henry Prince of Wales), Henry IV, Thomas Percy Earl of Worcester, Sir John Falstaff, Owen Glendower
Setting: London
Time: AD 1402-1403

Henry IV Part 1 begins what scholars refer to as the Henriad, an allusion to Virgil's Aeneid. The Henriad, Shakespeare's epic account of King Henry V, includes Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, and Henry V. Those three plays combined with their prequel, Richard II, comprise what is now known as the Second Tetralogy, written between 1597 and 1598. The First Tetralogy, written earlier between 1591 and 1595, comprises Henry VI Part 1Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3, and Richard III. Henry IV Part 1 is notable in part because it introduces one of Shakespeare's most popular characters, Sir John Falstaff. In the first productions of this play the character was called Sir Jon Oldcastle but because descendants of the actual Jon Oldcastle objected censors demanded the character's name be changed.

You and Thee

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In Henry IV Part 1, in the exchange between Hotspur and Owen Glendower, about calling up devils from the vasty deep, Hotspur deliberately shifts from the word you to thee when he addresses Glendower. You was often used to convey respect while thee was used when speaking to someone of inferior rank,
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Wives and Troubled Husbands

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Lady Percy’s plea to Hotspur in Henry IV, Part 1, is similar to Portia’s plea to Brutus in Julius Caesar. In both a wife is pleading with her husband to disclose the thoughts that seem to trouble him deeply. A difference, however, is that some psychologists consider Lady Percy’s speech a clinical description of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
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Here is a dear, a true-industrious friend

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Henry IV
Here is a dear, a true-industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stained with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours,
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
The Earl of Douglas is discomfited;
Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balked in their own blood,
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Act 1
Scene 1
Line 62

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,

Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?

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Falstaff
Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?
Prince Hal
Thou art so fat-witted with drinking of old
sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and
sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast
forgotten to demand that truly which thou wouldst
truly know. What a devil hast thou to do with
the time of the day?
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Act 1
Scene 2
Line 1

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,

But, Hal, I prithee trouble me no more with vanity

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Falstaff
But, Hal, I prithee trouble me no
more with vanity. I would to God thou and I knew
where a commodity of good names were to be
bought. An old lord of the council rated me the
other day in the street about you, sir, but I marked
him not, and yet he talked very wisely,
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Act 1
Scene 2
Line 86

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,

I know you all, and will awhile uphold

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I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humor of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapors that did seem to strangle him.
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Act 1
Scene 2
Line 202

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My liege, I did deny no prisoners

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My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
But I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat and trimly dressed,
Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin new reaped
Showed like a stubble land at harvest home.
He was perfumèd like a milliner,
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Act 1
Scene 3
Line 30

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Spoken by:

Peace, cousin, say no more

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Worcester
Peace, cousin, say no more.
And now I will unclasp a secret book,
And to your quick-conceiving discontents
I’ll read you matter deep and dangerous,
As full of peril and adventurous spirit
As to o’erwalk a current roaring loud
On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.
Hotspur
If he fall in,
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Act 1
Scene 3
Line 192

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Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas’ clerks

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Gadshill
Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas’
clerks, I’ll give thee this neck.
Chamberlain
No, I’ll none of it. I pray thee, keep that
for the hangman, for I know thou worshipest Saint
Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood may.
Gadshill
What talkest thou to me of the hangman?
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Act 2
Scene 1
Line 66

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,

But, for mine own part, my lord, I could be well contented

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Hotspur, reading a letter
But, for mine own part, my lord, I could be
well contented to be there, in respect of the love I
bear your house. He could be contented; why is he
not, then? In respect of the love he bears our
house—he shows in this he loves his own barn
better than he loves our house.
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Act 2
Scene 3
Line 1

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O my good lord, why are you thus alone?

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O my good lord, why are you thus alone?
For what offense have I this fortnight been
A banished woman from my Harry’s bed?
Tell me, sweet lord, what is ‘t that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth
And start so often when thou sit’st alone?
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Act 2
Scene 3
Line 39

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Connected Notes:
Wives and Troubled Husbands

And here is my speech

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Falstaff
And here is my speech.  As King.  Stand
aside, nobility.
Hostess
O Jesu, this is excellent sport, i’ faith!
Falstaff, as King
Weep not, sweet queen, for trickling tears are vain.
Hostess
O the Father, how he holds his countenance!
Falstaff,
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Act 2
Scene 4
Line 401

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