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Henry IV Part 1 Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #10

FALSTAFF, as Prince 
No, my good lord,
banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins: but for
sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack
Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more
valiant, being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff, banish not
him thy Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's
company. Banish plump Jack, and banish
all the world.
I do, I will. (2.4.491-499)

Now playing the role of "Prince Hal" during the play at the tavern, Falstaff takes another opportunity to defend himself when he pleads with the "king" (played by Hal) to banish everyone but "old Jack Falstaff." Hal's cryptic and cold response, "I do. I will" anticipates the way Hal will in fact banish his friend. On the battlefield at Shrewsbury we see Hal begin to pull away from Falstaff and later, in Henry IV Part 2, he banishes his friend outright.

Quote #11

Another king! They grow like Hydra's heads.—
I am the Douglas, fatal to all those
That wear those colors on them. What art thou,
That counterfeit'st the person of a king? (5.4.25-28)

After Douglas kills Sir Walter Blunt, one of many men marching in the king's "coats" (as a diversion tactic during battle) at Shrewsbury, Douglas worries that he's encountered another "counterfeit" when he happens upon the real King Henry. This passage reminds us of the tavern scenes, where Hal and Falstaff take turns playing the part of the "king." Once again, the play suggests that kingship is nothing more than a "role." Successful leaders, much like successful actors, require costumes and acting chops.

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