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Henry IV Part 1

Henry IV Part 1

Rules and Order Quotes Page 3

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Quote #7

But shall it be that you, that set the crown
Upon the head of this forgetful man
And for his sake wear the detested blot
Of murderous subornation, shall it be,
That you a world of curses undergo,
Being the agents, or base second means,
The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather? (1.3.7)

When Hotspur reminds his father and uncle of their participation in the deposition of King Richard (which goes down in the preceding play, Richard II), the audience is reminded that King Henry was once a rebel who led an uprising against a monarch. King Henry, then, has paved the path for future acts of anarchy. Hmm. Sometimes it's so hard to tell the difference between a rebel and a monarch in this play.

Quote #8

O, thou hast damnable iteration and art indeed able
to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon
me, Hal; God forgive thee for it! Before I knew
thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man
should speak truly, little better than one of the
wicked. (1.2.15)

We know Falstaff is full of bologna when he compares himself to a saint whose been "corrupted" by Prince Hal, but this is partly why we love Falstaff. It's pretty clear that Falstaff's the one whose been doing the corrupting (even though Hal is most definitely a willing participant in Falstaff's antics).

Quote #9

[…] yet time serves wherein you may redeem
Your banish'd honours and restore yourselves
Into the good thoughts of the world again,
Revenge the jeering and disdain'd contempt
Of this proud king (1.3.7)

Here, Hotspur insists that overthrowing the king is a way for the Percy family to "redeem" their "banish'd honours." The play takes seriously the idea that rebellion can be honorable and even justifiable, don't you think? Hotspur's never portrayed as a mustache-twirling villain (even when he's being ridiculous) and, in fact, much of what he has to say about the king makes sense, especially in the play's early scenes. But, does the play sustain this indulgent attitude toward Hotspur and the rebellion throughout the play? What do you think?

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