Discussion Questions

I’m stuck on a English question and need an explanation.

1. In 3.2, Henry IV meets with his son for the first time in this play, and rebukes him for his loose behaviour. In lines 40-60, King Henry describes the behaviour and attitude that helped him become king. Specifically, he compares himself to a comet which is “wondered at.” This cosmic image, especially with its ability to command wonder, points us back toward Prince Henry’s speech in 1.2, where Prince Henry compares himself to a sun disguised in clouds that is likewise wondered at. How do these two speeches compare to each other? How do they express differences in political philosophy?

2. In 3.2.92, Prince Henry promises his father “I shall hereafter, my thice-gracious lord, / Be more myself.” What does Prince Henry mean by his promise to “be more myself?”

3. The cause of the rebels suffers some setbacks when Hotspur learns in 4.1 that his father and Glendwyr both won’t be joining him in the battle. How does he and his comrades respond to this news?

4. Before the moment of battle, Blunt comes on a parley to see if Hotspur and the rebels can be appeased without bloodshed. How does Blunt appeal to them, particularly in the way he characterizes the legitimacy of King Henry’s legitimacy as monarch?

5. Conversely, how does Hotspur characterize his grievances with Henry IV that makes battle the only reasonable course of action?

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