Henry IV, Part 2 by William Shakespeare

Henry IV, Part 2

byWilliam Shakespeare

Kobo ebook | January 21, 2014

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Henry IV, Part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed written between 1596 and 1599. It is the third part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II and Henry IV, Part 1 and succeeded by Henry V.

The play picks up where Henry IV, Part One left off. Its focus is on Prince Hal's journey toward kingship, and his ultimate rejection of Falstaff. However, unlikePart One, Hal's and Falstaff's stories are almost entirely separate, as the two characters meet only twice and very briefly. Much of the play focuses on Henry IV's age and his closeness to death.

Falstaff is still drinking and engaging in petty criminality in the London underworld. Falstaff appears, followed by a new character, a young page whom Prince Hal has assigned him as a joke. Falstaff enquires what the doctor has said about the analysis of his urine, and the page cryptically informs him that the urine is healthier than the patient. Falstaff delivers one of his most characteristic lines: "I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men." Falstaff promises to outfit the page in "vile apparel" (ragged clothing). He then complains of his insolubility, blaming it on "consumption of the purse." They go off, Falstaff vowing to find a wife "in the stews" (i.e., the local brothels).

The Lord Chief Justice enters, looking for Falstaff. Falstaff at first feigns deafness in order to avoid conversing with him, and when this tactic fails pretends to mistake him for a young bravado. As the Chief Justice attempts to question Falstaff about a recent robbery, Falstaff insists on turning the subject of the conversation to the nature of the illness inflicting the King. He then adopts the pretense of being a much younger man than the Chief Justice: "You that are old consider not the capacities of us that are young." Finally, he asks the Chief Justice for one thousand pounds to help outfit a military expedition, but is denied.

He has a relationship with Doll Tearsheet, a prostitute. When news of a second rebellion arrives, Falstaff joins the army again, and goes to the country to raise forces. There he encounters Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, Shadow and Wart, a band of rustic yokels who are to be conscripted into the loyalist army, with two of whom, Mouldy and Bullcalf, bribing their way out. He also visits an old school friend, Justice Shallow, and they reminisce about their youthful follies.

In the other storyline, Hal remains an acquaintance of London lowlife and seems unsuited to kingship. His father, King Henry IV, has apparently forgotten his reconciliation with his son in Henry IV, Part One, and is again disappointed in the young prince. Another rebellion is launched against Henry IV, but this time it is defeated, not by a battle, but by the duplicitous political machinations of Hal's brother, Prince John. King Henry then sickens and appears to die. Hal, seeing this, believes he is King and exits with the crown. King Henry, awakening, is devastated, thinking Hal cares only about becoming King. Hal convinces him otherwise and the old king subsequently dies contentedly.

The two storylines meet in the final scene, in which Falstaff, having learned that Hal is now King, travels to London in expectation of great rewards. But Hal rejects him, saying that he has now changed, and can no longer associate with such people. The London lowlifes, expecting a paradise of thieves under Hal's governance, are instead purged and imprisoned by the authorities.

Title:Henry IV, Part 2Format:Kobo ebookPublished:January 21, 2014Publisher:Castrovilli GiuseppeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990034374059

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