Henry IV Part 1

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Prompts for Class Discussion


1. Characterize the diction and syntax carefully of lines 1-33.
2. What irony is associated with Henry using children imagery?
3. What exposition is in the scene?
4. Characterize Henry; he may later be compared to Claudius’ remarks to the court following King Hamlet’s death and the marriage..


1. What motif is in this scene, and why is it used?
2. Pick a line that best reflects Falstaff’s character. Why?
3. Does the Prince join the robbers for the theft or for fun or for another reason?
Does the Prince ever address the issue ? (See question 5)
4. Analyze fully the theme passage.
5. Why does Hal choose to associate with apparent “low-lifes”? 

I iii

1. Examine Worcester’s first lines in the scene. What is revealed about him?
2. What kind of language does Hotspur use? What does it tell you about him?
3. Compare/contrast Hotspur’s report with Hal’s theme passage? What do
you learn of each?
4. Is the king’s case against Mortimer convincing? Is the truth told?
5. What is Hotspur’s most impressive quality as he talks to Worcester?
6. Is Hotspur’s account of the king’s conduct (lines 145 ff) convincing? Is anyone lying?
7. Why does Hotspur join the rebellion?


1. What is the scene’s purpose?


1. Who dominates this scene? Why?
2. Discuss Falstaff’s lines 10-30. What does he say that focuses attention on his nature?
3. Why is Falstaff funny? What does Bloom believe?


1.What characteristic of Hotspur is in this scene?

2.What serious defects are in Hotspur’s character? Have we been prepared for them?
3.What is in this scene that foreshadows the rebellion’s outcome?


1. Compare Hal in this scene with his father in III,ii.
2. Notice in this scene how Hal’s jesting with Francis is a set up for something more serious. What is it? What other character is involved, and what
does Hal think of this other character? Is his opinion true, and why is the answer important?
3. Compare Hal’s lines 100-115 and Hotspur’s lines in I,iii,240-248. What is learned of each?
4. This scene ‘exposes’ Falstaff. How does he act, and why is it funny? Would you say Falstaff has wit? What is his most admirable quality?As usual, this comedic scene has a very serious purpose. Is it a court or anti-court scene? Study fully lines 365-485 with Hal and Falstaff role playing. Answer the following based on those lines:

a. How are the lines a play within a play?
b. Is Falstaff’s style always colloquial? Why?
c. What roles are assumed, and what do they ‘say to each other?
d. Should the Prince be blamed in this scene given the
seriousness of the political situation?


1. How is Glendower portrayed in this scene? Contrast his behavior
with Hotspur.
2. What is the irony in lines 75 ff? Why?
3. Does Hotspur make a good impression in this scene? Why?
4. What role does Gloucester assume in this scene (lines 189 ff.)? What does this scene tell you of the Percy rebellions?


1. Compare this scene with Act I; what is important in each scene? How are they linked?

2. Contrast Hal with his father. Does Henry have a valid complaint, or
is he just ignorant or some combination of both? Justify your answer.
3.What is the real reason that Henry is angered with Hal?
4. Compare this scene with II,iv. When does Henry go too far and what
is Hal’s response? Note how the theme passage is involved.
5. Why is Hal so angry about his vow to kill Hotspur?


1. How is Falstaff’s behavior similar to II,iv?
2. What do you make of Falstaff’s character now after III, ii?


1. What imagery/motif patterns are in this scene and I,i? Why?
2. Who has the better political insight. Hotspur or Worcester? Why?
3. Compare Hotspur 5 reaction to the letter in II,iii, 1-38 with this scene.
4. See Hotspur’s lines 45-54. Is his response typical of his character?
5. Is Hotspur–lines 79-90-correct in his opinion?
6. Note that Hal is characterized in this scene. Who speaks on him, what do
they say, and what point is made? Note: How is this a transition scene and from what to what?
7. Why does Hotspur come off badly in this scene?
8 What must happen to the rebellion given this scene? Why?


1. What is your opinion of Falstaff? Compare his behavior in other scenes?


1. What happens to the rebellion in this scene?
2. What is Blunt’s role in this scene? How does Hotspur react?


1. Give an interlace motif in lines 1-25 to other places in the text.
2. Do you believe Worcester in lines 23-27? Why?
3. Look at Falstaff’s lines and the Prince’s reply. What can be concluded?
4. Examine Prince Hal’s lines 83 ff. What is Shakespeare doing that explains the comedic scene
5. Give a specific dramatic evaluation of the King’s offer. Is it logical?
6. Evaluate Falstaff in this scene.
7. Falstaff’s lines ending the scene, 129 ff, have been called his “catechism.”
Explain what this means. Evaluate the lines in light of his character and the play as a whole. is


1. What does Worcester do in this scene? Is it justified, and are we prepared?
(See: I,iii,300f)
2. Look at Hotspur’s lines 73-82. Is this a typical response for him? What is the point here?
3. What is Hotspur’s point in saying he cannot talk-line 95. Is the character


1. Evaluate Falstaff in this scene. What has happened/
2. Evaluate the Hal/Falstaff relationship. Has either changed and why?


1. Give a flashback court/anti-court interlace here.
2. Is the king the ‘hero” in this scene? Why? Your response should give
an important clue to the theme.
3. The entire play has been moving toward a central conflict which
is in this scene
. What is it? Evaluate the outcome, and analyze the characters involved. Why was not the scene considered a little

childish in the Renaissance if we might feel that way today?
4. What motifs are involved that relate to the theme passage?
5. How does Hal feel about Falstaff?
6.Why does Hal agree to lie for Falstaff?


1. Does the play end with a settled conclusion? Why? What was Shakespeare
probably planning to do?



About Ms. N's Rhyme and Reason

Hi, In the beginning was the word. Hence begins the history of humankind, in all domains of evolution. The thriving of civilizations has depended on how articulate were their teachers- the ones who descended with the learned art to their offspring generations. This phenomenon of transmitting of genetic code of learning has been at the heart of my inspiration to teach. This art somehow has transformed into a mantra for me, and it has never ceased to amaze me. Although to become a perfect teacher one might take a lifetime, but if one tries to be perfect, one negates the reason to experiment and fail. Hence, I may have faltered in some of my approaches, but my aspiration has been to try rectifying the short-coming, to connect again with the subject-matter and my pupils, to demystify the intended outcome, to enthuse the learners again, and to keep the cycle going.
This entry was posted in A Level Literature in English, Course No.9695, Paper 4 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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