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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Henry IV (part I) V.iv.11-13
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2542  Monday, 5 November 2001

From:           Jay Pollack <
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Date:           Friday, 02 Nov 2001 17:03:14 +0000
Subject:        Henry IV (part I) V.iv.11-13

I think in Act V, Scene iv, Prince Hale absolutely defines himself as a
responsible and loyal young man. Hal does not want to leave the
battlefield for his tent (even though very injured), saying to
Westmoreland that:

"I do not need your help: / And God forbid a shallow scratch [his wound]
should drive / The Prince of Wales from such a field as this, / Where
stain'd nobility lies trodden [trodden] on, / And rebels' arms triumph
in massacres!" (Lines 11-13).

This important and explicit speech inspires Lancaster and Westmoreland
into battle. It really shows Hal's developed leadership qualities.

On another note, Henry IV isn't as poetic as other of Shakespeare's
works. Does he use low language not in traditional poetic form (but
prose) to show a lowliness is Falstaff? Inclusively, at the later part
of the play it seems that the Prince is far more poetic than in the
early Acts.  Does this also show the development of Hal's character and
ability to be an apt leader?

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