Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Henry IV; Part 1

I love reading Shakespeare. I have to read at a much slower pace but I still love his writing because there is so much packed into every paragraph. Applying my question "Why do others overcome adversity while others fail" to this play brings forth a completely different answer than my previous entries. Why does Hal succeed and Hotspur falls? In the beginning of the play, it would seem the story would have an entirely different ending. Hotspur is the valiant, young soldier, while Hal is a pub crawler, playing tricks and thieving. Considering English tradition in Elizabethan times and Hal's rise from a pub crawler to a prince, I believe that according to Shakespeare, Hal succeeded because he was the heir to the throne and he possessed "kingly qualities" Hal transformed from a pub crawler into a leader, with grace and good speaking skills and he was driven to prove his worth to his father and it was all of these combined that allowed him to defeat Hotspur. Although at first Hotspur seemed kingly, it was later revealed how coarse he truly was. In order to be a champion, you must have the qualities of a champion.

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