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Henry IV Part 1 Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Is Hal better suited to be a king than Hotspur? Why or why not? What qualities make a good leader?
  2. It seems like everyone in the play has something to say about the concept of "honor" ("honour" if you're British). What is "honor" anyway? How is it defined throughout the play? Is it a good thing? Just a silly idea? Something else?
  3. What kind of roles do women have in the play (there are only three of them – what's up with that)? What kinds of scenes do they appear in? What kinds of other characters are they associated with? Do they have any bearing on the way the plot unfolds? Or, do they have another kind of function?
  4. Falstaff is one of the most talked about characters in literary history. What makes his character so appealing?
  5. Can teenagers today relate to Prince Hal and the dramatic change he undergoes in the play? Why or why not?
  6. Sometimes it seems like Hal and Falstaff would rather spend the summer at theater camp than do anything else. What's up with that? Seriously. What's the significance of Hal's penchant for putting on little plays and skits? What's the function of all the play-acting in Henry IV Part 1?

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