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Henry IV Part 2

Henry IV Part 2

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Quote #4

PRINCE HENRY
Before God, I am exceeding weary.
POINS
Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not
have attached one of so high blood.
PRINCE HENRY
Faith, it does me; though it discolours the
complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth
it not show vilely in me to desire small beer? (2.2.1)

Prince Hal spent most of his time in Henry IV Part 1 thumbing his nose at authority and raising hell with Falstaff. In Part 2, the Prince is much more subdued. He even complains here that he's "exhausted." He also seems to be worried that his sordid lifestyle and association with the commoners has rubbed off on him, as evidenced by his embarrassment that he's developed a taste for "small beer" (the cheap beverage of choice for common men).

Quote #5

DOLL TEARSHEET
Hang him, swaggering rascal! let him not come
hither: it is the foul-mouthed'st rogue in England.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
If he swagger, let him not come here: no, by my
faith; I must live among my neighbours: I'll no
swaggerers: I am in good name and fame with the
very best: shut the door; there comes no swaggerers
here: I have not lived all this while, to have
swaggering now: shut the door, I pray you. (2.4.7)

When Doll Tearsheet complains that Pistol is the most "foul-mouthed'st rogue in England," we know that the "swaggering" Pistol has got to be bad, especially since Doll Tearsheet won't exactly be sipping tea at the palace any time soon. Given that Tearsheet and Mistress Quickly get into a huge brawl with Pistol just a few short lines later, we wonder if these saucy women aren't more dangerous and out of control than the rebel leaders who want to bump King Henry IV off the throne. (The rebels, after all, don't even engage in battle in this play. Doll Tearsheet, on the other hand, whips out a knife and threatens to stab Pistol in the "cheeks.")

Quote #6

[Northumberland]
I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter,
Give even way unto my rough affairs:
Put not you on the visage of the times
And be like them to Percy troublesome. (2.3.1)

Northumberland (one of the rebel leaders) uses an interesting analogy when he asks his wife (Lady Northumberland) and daughter-in-law (Lady Percy) to be more obedient to him. (They've been giving him a hard time about his involvement in the rebellion and don't want him to go to war.) Here, he asks that they not put on "the visage [face] of the times," meaning, he doesn't want them to quarrel with and rebel against him in the way he and others have rebelled against the king. Hmm. Why is it that all of the play's female characters are associated with rebellion and disorder? Check out "Gender" if you're interested in this question.

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