| Quote #7
PRINCE HENRY No; I will sit and watch here by the king.
This is a rather tender moment, wouldn't you say? Here, Prince Hal sits beside his slumbering father and promises to defend the crown when he is king. Unfortunately, the king is sleeping when his son pours his heart out.
| Quote #8
In one of the play's most striking moments, Prince Hal, thinking his father has died, takes the royal crown and leaves the room. When the king wakes up from his nap, he's ticked and goes off on his son, accusing Hal of hiding a "thousand daggers" in his "thoughts." In other words, Henry has always suspected that Hal doesn't love him and wants to see him dead so he, Hal, can get his hands on the crown. (Apparently, Henry has forgotten all about how Hal saved his life during battle in act five of Henry IV Part 1.)
This passage speaks to the delicacy of lineal succession and the consequences of primogeniture (the system by which eldest sons inherit their fathers' wealth, titles, lands, power, debt, etc.). As long as one's father is alive, a son has limited power and wealth, which can strain even the best father-son relationships. Shakespeare explores the idea that all sons (not just princes who stand to inherit kingdoms) inevitably look forward to their fathers' deaths in other plays as well – particularly Hamlet and King Lear.
We also want to point out Henry's witty remark that Hal "fathered" the idea that King Henry was dead. In other words, Henry claims that Hal "wish[ed]" his father was dead and, was therefore, quick to imagine that the old man had passed away when, in fact, he was only sleeping.
| Quote #9
Hmm. Hal seems sincere when he apologizes to his father for laying claim to the crown prematurely. What do you think? Should we believe him?