Throughout the tetralogy, Shakespeare is interested in family bonds (especially father-son relationships), particularly when they intersect with politics. Even though Prince Hal saved his father's life at the battle of Shrewsbury in Henry IV Part 1, the troubled relationship between the king and his heir continues to parallel the civil rebellion in England. It also threatens the possibility of reestablishing any kind of political unity and order. As King Henry IV nears his death, he accuses Prince Hal of wanting him dead, an issue that Shakespeare also explores in plays like King Lear. Hal's success as a king seems contingent upon his making amends with his father and rejecting his surrogate father-figure, Falstaff. Hal's banishment of Falstaff and his acceptance of the Lord Chief Justice as a new "father" confirm his "reformation" from a wayward son to a monarch who will uphold civil order.
In the play, civil unrest is frequently compared to domestic violence.
In order to restore and ensure civil harmony in England, Prince Hal must first make amends with his father, King Henry IV and reject his old surrogate father-figure, Falstaff.