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Henry IV Part 1 Principles Quotes

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

Quote #10

Nor shall it, Harry, for the hour is come
To end the one of us, and would to God
Thy name in arms were now as great as mine.
I'll make it greater ere I part from thee,
And all the budding honors on thy crest
I'll crop, to make a garland for my head. (5.4.69-74)

When Prince Hal encounters Hotspur on the field of battle he says he's going to take the ribbons ("budding honors") from Hotspur's helmet ("crest") and make a garland out of them to wear on his own head. This symbolic threat echoes Hal's earlier promise to take away all of Hotspur's accumulated "honour" by defeating him in man-to-man combat, a promise he makes good on.

Quote #11

I better brook the loss of brittle life
Than those proud titles thou hast won of me. (5.4.79-80)

Hotspur's obsession with honor is constant until the very end. More than his own life, Hotspur seems to value the honor ("those proud titles") Hal has taken from him by defeating him in battle. What do you make of this? Is young Percy to be admired for his ideals? Prince Hal and King Henry seem to think so. Yet, we've also seen how Falstaff raises objections to this way of thinking. Is Hotspur merely a foolish young man, or laudable model of honor?

Quote #12

Stay and breathe awhile.
Thou hast redeemed thy lost opinion
And showed thou mak'st some tender of my life,
In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me. (5.4.47-50)

According to King Henry, Prince Hal redeems himself in battle when he saves his father from Douglas (this passage occurs just before Hal defeats Hotspur). The king's words seem to be in keeping with other notions of honor, which associate the term with courage on the battlefield. Yet, here, honor also seems to be closely related to family loyalty and filial obedience. When the king says he's happy to see that Prince Hal values the life of his father enough to risk his own neck in battle, we're reminded of Henry's paranoia about whether or not his son would be happier if the old man were dead and he, Prince Hal, were king. (See quotes for "Power" and "Family" for more on this.)

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