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Henry IV Part 1 Rules and Order Quotes

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

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? (1.3.164-170)

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. (1.2.96-101)

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 banished honors and restore yourselves
Into the good thoughts of the world again,
Revenge the jeering and disdained contempt
Of this proud king (1.3.184-188)

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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