| Quote #7
When Prince John meets with the rebel leaders at Gaultree Forest, he chides the Archbishop of York (a.k.a. Scroop) for abusing his religious authority in order to lead a rebellion against King Henry IV. Prince John reminds York that the king is God's "substitute" on earth, which is a reference to a political theory know as the doctrine of "divine right." This doctrine says that kings are appointed by God to be his earthly representatives and therefore, subjects should never challenge the monarch's authority.
History Snack: There seems to be some topical relevance here. Queen Elizabeth I (who ruled England at the time this play was written) faced the Northern Rebellion of 1569, which was led by the Percy clan (relatives of the same rebellious Percies depicted in the Henry plays) and the Catholic Bishop of Ross. The rebels wanted to bump Elizabeth off the throne so they could install her Catholic cousin, Mary Stuart. The rebellion was quashed, and soon after, Elizabeth mandated that all churches in England read aloud a sermon (on a regular basis), called "Homily Against Disobedience and Willful Rebellion." Rebellion, according to the sermon was not only an act of treason, it was seen as a "great a sin against God."
| Quote #8
KING HENRY IV
King Henry IV's reconciliation with Prince Hal prompts him to dispense fatherly and political advice to his son, which, interestingly enough, leads into a kind of death-bed confession where Henry overtly acknowledges that his path to the crown was "crook'd."
It's clear in this passage that Henry blames his tumultuous reign on his usurpation of the throne – he sees his deposition of Richard II as a "soil[ed]" "achievement." Yet, he's also hopeful of the future because he believes that, since Prince Hal will inherit the crown by lineal succession, his son's reign will be recognized as more legitimate than his own and will, therefore, be much more stable. Still, Henry urges Hal to "busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels" when he is king. That is, he urges Hal to start a war on foreign soil as a way to distract both his friends and enemies from stirring up trouble for him at home. Henry also suggests that this is the real reason why he's always talked about leading a crusade to the Holy Land, which you can read more about by going to "Quotes" for "Warfare."
| Quote #9
Once King Henry IV dies, the Lord Chief Justice must defend himself to Hal, who confronts the LCJ for once having Hal arrested and thrown in jail after the prince boxed the LCJ on the ears. Here, the Lord Chief Justice defends his actions as he explains that his job was to embody or represent the late king's "majesty and power of law and justice." Therefore, when Hal struck him, it was as though he was striking "the image of the king." In short, the Lord Chief Justice holds his ground and is unapologetic for doing his job. Hal's (a.k.a. King Henry V) response? Keep reading…