Henry IV, Part I
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Henry IV, part I is the first in a trio of King Henry plays. The play takes off right where Richard II leaves off; with the demise of Richard II and Henry IV rise to the throne.Henry IV has ridded Richard II from the throne of England and is now King. In events that take place at the end of Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV has sworn to journey to the holy land in order to recuse himself of any guilt from the murder of Richard II. He is unable to make his trip due to political squabbles with both Scotland and Wales. The weight of his guilty conscious causes him to mistreat those around him, including the two heads of the Percy family, who helped him gain the throne, and the Earl of March, the man who was deemed heir to the throne by King Richard II. Adding to his problems is his rebellious son, Hal, Prince of Wales, who has turned from his father to drinking and debauchery.After Henry IV greatly offends the Percy’s and the Earl of March, they form a rebellion against the king. Henry braces for a battle that will either allow him to maintain his crown, or end up like predecessor.Henry IV, part I contains some of Shakespeare’s most entertaining characters, including Falstaff, the enigmatic rogue whose words and wit command a following wherever he goes; Hal, the Prince of Wales, who turns from listless drunk to a brave warrior; and Harry Percy, or Hotspur, the most energetic and passionate of the band of rebels.Henry IV, part 1 has been adapted into many film and television performances. Kenneth Brannaugh famously played Prince Hal in a 1989 film adaptation. Henry IV, part 1 is proceeded by its sequel, Henry IV, part 2, which follows Prince Hal’s ascent to the throne.“I know a trick worth two of that.”