One of the most popular of all Shakespeare's history plays, Henry IV, Part I re-creates actual events from early-15th-century English history as King Henry deals a rebellion inside with his kingdom led by Harry Percy ("Hotspur") and other notables. Besides this mutinous action, the king must also contend with the dissolute ways of his son, Prince Hal, who spends much of his time in the company of the witty, rotund, tavern-haunting Sir John Falstaff, one of Shakespeare's immortal comic characters. During the rebellion against his father, however, Hal acquits himself honorably in battle, portending the eventual transformation in later plays of the wild prince into a great warrior-king.
These various themes are woven together here in a superb blend of brilliantly staged scenes depicting the king's attempts to pacify the rebels and maintain his power, the plotting of Percy and other insurgents, grim action on the battlefield, and the low comedy of Falstaff and his comrades — all brought to life in some of Shakespeare's finest blank verse and raciest prose.
About: England resides in a state of unrest as Henry IV despairs over his son and heir, Prince Henry, who is led into a life of debauchery by Falstaff, while the Percy family attempts to wrest the crown from the Bolingbroke line.
About: One of the most popular of all Shakespeare's history plays, Henry IV, Part I re-creates actual events from early-15th-century English history as King Henry deals a rebellion inside with his kingdom led by Harry Percy ("Hotspur") and other notables.
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