Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Henry IV, Act IV, Scene 1 and Instructions

Pub Crawlers and Courtiers: Please post your comment about Act IV scene 1 here.

Directions for Act IV posts. All three posts are due Friday, September 29.

Rebels: Read and think about how to perform 4.1. Read and comment on 4.2 and 4.3. Read 4.4, but no need to post a comment about that scene.
Pub Crawlers: Read and think about how to perform 4.2. Read and comment on 4.1 and 4.3. Read 4.4, but no need to post a comment about that scene.
Courtiers (You will perform a rebel scene): Read and think about how to perform 4.3. Read and comment on 4.1 and 4.2. Read 4.4, but no need to post a comment about that scene.

All groups: Read the comments on Mr. Kleeman's class blog, Act IV. Post one comment to a student in that class:


Blogger Paige w said...

While reading Act 4 scene 1, Hotspur recieves news that his Father is very ill. "'Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick
In such a rustling time? Who leads his power?
Under whose government come they along?" He has very little concern for his father's health, and asks how he can rest at a time like this. Worcester intercedes and asks the messenger if he truly is sick. Worcester takes the side that Northumberland’s health is of the utmost value to them. He asks how long Northumberland has been sick, and the messenger replies that it has been long, and the doctor isn’t sure of how long he will live. Hotspur is angry; he seems to think his father asked to be sick, because he blames his father’s sickness on his father. Worcester again steps in and confirms Northumberland’s sickness is maim, or an injury, to them, but he doesn’t say anything to agree with Hotspur’s accusation that it was his father’s fault. Worcester thinks through the problem, and finds another problem within it. He believes that people supporting them that don’t know about Northumberland’s sickness will think that he is not there because he does not support what they are doing. He is afraid this may cause a division and cause people to question the integrity of the fight. Hotspur, though thinks it differently, and begins to see how it may help them. He thinks that if supporters see that they will continue fighting with out Northumberland, then they will believe in the strength of the fight and in the rebels, and then when Northumberland returns it will strengthen them even more.Vernon enters, and tells Hotspur of Westmoreland’s march on to England, and of the king preparing to fight back. They start to see their fight coming to a close, for Hotspur says, “The powers of us may serve so great a day
Come, let us take a muster speedily:
Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.” They still feel they must fight, and if they die, they die not in vain.

Wed Sep 27, 06:12:00 PM 2006  
Blogger haley said...

I agree with you. Hotspur's reaction to his father's illness is ridiculous. Hotspur is so caught up in his own desires that he fails to feel even the slightest concern for his father's health. I have to come to the conclusion that Hotspur is nothing more than a selfish pig who is concerned solely with his own well-being and rank. He will stop it nothing to attain more power and glory. He doesn't care about anybody but himself, even his sickly father. It is absolutely absurd that Hotspur would blame his father for his illness. He does not have control over his health, and I think it's horrible that Hotspur would even think to blame his father for this. It is interesting to see how Hotspur and Northumberland's father-son relationship has changed for the worse, while Hal and King Henry's relationship has strengthened.

Thu Sep 28, 12:02:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Becca S said...

Act 4 Scene 1
If I was an actor playing Hotspur I would be rashly confident. In the scene, Hotspur is not only told that his father is ill and Glendower's troops will be two weeks late, but also that the King's army is united and has 30,000 troops. He is told that Prince Hal has risen from his low place in society and is ready for war: "I saw young Harry with his beaver on, / His cushes on his thighs, gallantly armed, / Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury, / And vaulted with such ease into his seat / As if an angel dropped down from the clouds / To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus, / And witch the world with noble horsemanship" (104-110). Despite these numerous accounts of bad news, Hotspur retains his ego and optimism about the war: "My father and Glendower being both away, / The powers of us may serve so great a day. / Come, let us take a muster speedily --Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily" (131-134). In the scene, Douglas mirrors Hotspur's enthusiasm, so Hotspur is very friendly and complimentary to him. However, Worcester is a little more realistic about the situation: "But yet I wish your father had been here: / The quality and hair of our attempt / Brooks no division; it will be thought, / By some that know not why he is away, / That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike / Of our proceedings kept the Earl from hence;" (60-65). Because of this pessimism, Hotspur might act more indignant towards him.

Thu Sep 28, 07:09:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Dayna Z said...

Act 4, Scene 1
#6: I noticed an interesting similarity between Hotspur and Prince Hal in this scene: When Hotspur finds out his father is sick and will not be able to help them with their rebellious plans, he is actually glad because he thinks it will make himself look even better if they overthrow the king without his father’s help. Hotspur remarks, “I rather of his absence make this use: It lends a luster and more great opinion” (76-77). This declaration is very similar to Prince Hal’s first soliloquy in which he states he will look even better to people when he reforms his ways than if he were always good. Both are concerned about their reputations in the kingdom and each has a plan to further his own reputation. In fact, both of their plans bring themselves greatness at the expense of others (Hal plans to degrade and cast off Falstaff and Hotspur's plan involves Percy's suffering). The imagery in both of these sections is also similar in Hotspur’s use of the word “luster” and Hal’s use of words such as “glitt’ring” and “foil to set it off.” Both characters want to shine to others and want their good qualities to sparkle above all others.

Thu Sep 28, 10:34:00 PM 2006  
Blogger julie s said...

Dayna -

You make an excellent point in paralleling Hal and Hotspur. I didn't pick up on this while reading the scene, but now that I look back on it I definitely see it. Excellent insight!

Thu Sep 28, 10:45:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Karen W said...

Act 4 scene 1

After reading the entire scene, the message that stuck in my mind came from the very beginning.

The important purpose of the scene is to reveal the many stresses of power.

The King falls ill in a time of great importance. So Hotspur asks, "who leads his power?” who takes charge and makes decisions when the one person with absolute authority and divine right is incapacitated? Who will stand to challenge and accept the turmoil and propositions of the country? We discussed in class today that king Henry the sixth lost power because his advisors messed things up when they split his decisions. There seems to be a pattern here. When power or want of power is divided among too many people the structure of power begins to collapse. I believe Shakespeare foreshadows discontent or failure in his rebel leaders because they bicker among themselves and do not represent a united front. No one will ever be satisfied with what power they gain because they always have to fight to keep it. Is all of this struggle for Hotspur and the rebels worth it if they are going to struggle to keep what they gain for the rest of their lives?

Thu Sep 28, 10:54:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Stacie C said...

Throughout Scene 1, Hotspur makes two significant comments about Prince Hal, such as, "Where is his [the King's] son,/ That nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales,/ And his comrades that daft the world aside/ And bid it pass? (95-98). Hotspur makes two important assertions about Hal here, the first being that the Prince is well able to perform his duties as soldier and Prince ("nimble-footed"). However, this comment could also have the connotation that Hal is apt at escaping from certain duties, and tends to dance around his responsibilities. Also, he suggests that Hal has missed many opportunities, and has let the world move without him. Will Hal be unable to make up for the chances that he has missed, and the honor that he has failed to attain, through these coming battles? Furthermore, does this reinforce Hal's vow to become respectable and committed to his country, turning away from such friends as Falstaff? Later in the scene, Hotspur says "Come, let me taste my horse,/ Who is to bear me like a thunderbolt/ Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales./ Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,/ Meet and ne'er part till one drop down a corse" (120-124) Hotspur seems to approach this battle as if he is some super-human force, meeting Hal as a "thunderbolt", a sudden strike that leaves its victims completely unable to defend themselves. Moreover, he seems to compare himself to Hal, "Harry to Harry", and suggests that because their interests are so conflicting, one must die to avenge the other's grievances, whether the revolt undermining Hal's father's authority, or the coup that stole power from Hotspur's family. How will Hotspur's view of Hal affect their coming fight, and what result will it cause in the overall outcome of the war?

Sat Sep 30, 06:10:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Sean K said...

In this scene, Hotspur’s comments show is pretentious attitude towards battle. After Worcester questions the possibility of dissention in camp without Northumberland, Hotspur replies, “If we without his help can make a head/ To push against a kingdom, with his help/ We shall o’erturn it topsy-turvey down,” (lines 80-81). This quote shows that Hotspur feels it is his fortune to beat the King and should not let Northumberland’s sickness ruin their destiny. He believes his men can take a stand against the King and that it is only a matter of time until they oust the King. Also, when he replies, “No more, no more! Worse than the sun in March/ This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come./ They come like sacrifices in their trim,” (lines 111-113) to Hal in arms; Hotspur shows that he will not be swayed by chills that come from Hal’s name because he wants to meet in horse to horse. This is another example of his audacity. Another interesting quote from this scene is Vernon’s description of Hal on lines 104-110 because it shows the transformation of Hal from pub crawler to warrior. Hal is now described as, “if an angel dropped down from the clouds/ To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,” instead of a common man.

Sun Oct 01, 01:57:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Molly M said...

Act 4 Scene 1
The problems are beginning internally and working their way out.

Without this scene, we would not see that there are obstacles within the rebel’s side. Hotspur's father's illness is as Worcester puts it, "a maim" to their side (line 42). Shakespeare is demonstrating through this scene that obstacles will always come into play and they start on the inside and affect the bigger picture.

Sun Oct 01, 05:52:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Maya R said...

"'Zounds! How has he the leisure to be sick in such a justling time?"
This comment by Hotspur about his father is funny and sarcastic. It reveals Hotspur's inclination to joke around about so many things.
"The king himself in person is set forth (Vernon)...He shall be welcome too. (Hotspur)"
This quote reveals how cocky and confident Hotspur is.
"All furnish'd, all in arms, all plum'd like estridges that with the wind bated like eagles having lately bath'd, glittering in golden coats like images ass full of spirit as the month of May, and gorgeous as the sun at midsummer, wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls."
Vernon is describing the prince and his armies. I really like the imagery in this passage. I also think it is poetic justice for Hal to be described in such a noble way to his enemy Hotspur, who expects anything but this of Hal, the "madcap Prince of Wales."
"Come, let me taste my horse, who is to bear me like a thunderbolt against the bosom of the Prince of Wales. Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse, meet and ne'er part till one drop down a corse."
I like the play on the names here, by Hotspur. He describes his horse as hot horse - hmm funny.

Sun Oct 01, 05:53:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Dana A said...

Act IV Scene 1-
8) During this scene I noticed lots of heaven versus hell imagery when applying to Hal and Hotpur. When Vernon is talking, many of his comments shine a heavenly light on Hal. He refers to Hal as "galantly armed" and "ris(ing) from the ground like feathered if an angel had droppped down from the clouds to turn and wind a fiery Pegasus" Than, in contrast, Hotspur refers to himself and comrades as the "fiery-eyed maid of smoky war, All hot and bleeding." The harshly contrasting images, to me help highlight the differences between Hotspur and Hal. Hal, though he does not always seem so because of who he associates himself with, is very level-headed and fair. By displaying him in a godly light it shows that he is above Hotspur and the next man to take the thrown. By placing Hotspur with the images of heat and blood it paints the picture of hell and highlights Hotspur's fiery and evil personality. To me this shows that since Hotspur is not displayed in good light as Hal is that he is not the right man to take the thrown

Sun Oct 01, 08:43:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Kendra W said...

Act 4 Scene 1

This scene was interesting because it seems to be leading to the start of the end for the rebels. Their chance for victory is getting smaller and everything seems to be going wrong. Hotspur's father is prevented from coming due to illness, which angers Hotspur furthur. I think this news really hits Hotspur hard because he can't face the reality that his father really is sick and he instead tries to pin excuses on him. Hotspur can't believe the nerve of his father to recieve the "leisure" at such an opportune time. With news that Glyndwr won't bring troops in time, a chain reaction of bad luck seems to be falling onto the rebels. Their allies keep slipping away and they are looking less united and more jumbled and disorganized by the minute.

Sun Oct 01, 09:15:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Steph Zepelin said...

Hotspur and Douglas are talking when Hotspur recieves a letter bearing bad news. The letter says that his father is very sick so he won't be able to go out with his troops for a while. Worcester comes in and talks about how Hotspur's father's illness is a big setback. They then steer the conversationt to the fact that they will try very hard to win. Hotspurs says how he will meet Hal and battle him to the death.

Sun Oct 01, 09:32:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Sam S said...

I think that at this point in the play, Hotspur is starting to feel very overwhelmed by his decision to take action against King Henry. He has been found to be a very "hot-headed" type of person, who will do something without thinking of the future consequences. This holds true for now. When he decided to battle King Henry with his father, Glendower, and Mortimer, it seemed like a very good idea, but now the prospects of actually defeating the king are not looking good. Not only has the king gathered a lot more force than he had expected, but Hotspur's father is now very ill and can't take part in the battle, and Glendower is sort of missing in action. I think this can kind of be compared to Macbeth; when he killed the king so he could become king it sounded like a good idea, but he soon became overwhelmed with guilt, pressure, and eventually an uprising against. Now Hotspur is becoming overwhelmed with the factors counting against him in this battle.

Sun Oct 01, 10:59:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Melissa said...

Act 4.1
10. This scene displays the rebels’ involvement with Prince Hal, and the way Hal and Hotspur relate to each other. As Hotspur is informed that the Prince Harry of Wales himself is leading troops towards the Battle of Shrewsbury, he learns of Hal’s reformation into a worthy challenger he must fight. The messenger, Vernon, describes Hal illustrates an impressive warrior that has changed from his ghastly state as a pub crawler, “As full of spirit as the month of May/And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;/Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls./I saw young Harry with his beaver on” (4.4 101-104). Hotspur cuts him off as Vernon begins to compare the Prince to a god or an angel, unable to handle the news of Hal’s glorious reformation. Vernon also emphasizes that Hal has “noble horsemanship” (4.4 110), a trait formerly given to Hotspur, by Hal in the second act, and the other Rebels. Prince Hal has not only gained a worthy position in his father’s mind, but in the Rebels’ world as well. Their plans must change and adapt to his infringement upon them. They not only have to defeat King Henry to take over the throne; Hal stands in their way now. They must strike him down before he can fulfill his inheritance to the throne. Hotspur and Harry both know that they must challenge each other. Hotspur states, “Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse/Meet, and ne’er part till one drop down a corse” (4.4 122-23), recognizing Hal’s reformation and his worthiness to fight.

Sun Oct 01, 11:01:00 PM 2006  
Blogger sarahg said...

Act IV scene I

it's a combination of #3/5... threeve, if you will...

I don't understand why Hotspur remains so optimistic during this scene. The news that the messengers bring seems to cut the rebels' plan down more and more throughout the scene. Worcester and Douglas realize that their lack of troops from Northumberland and Glendower accompanied by Harry's steady advance is a potentially detramental problem, but Hotspur remains confident, and/or cocky. He says that he does not fear death, and that he wants to battle Harry to the death.

Putting aside all of the battle nonsense... Hotspur should have a more personal reaction to everything. His father is terribly ill, and Hotspur doesn't show any appropriate emotions. Instead, he seems angry at his father. I am not sure if he is hiding his emotions because he does not know how to deal with them, or if he is honestly angry at Northumberland. Not sure, but I continue to like Hotspur less and less and the play progresses.

Sun Oct 01, 11:03:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Eric W. said...

10) Hotspur is definitely a role model for Hal in this scene. Although they are technically enemies, Hal can learn a lot from Hotspur. Hotspur must face his father's illness and accept his duties as a leader. Although it may seem that he has no chance of winning this battle, his unaltered dedication to his country reveals his integrity. Hal is now accepting responsibilty of his kingdom and he can observe Hotspur's leadership qualities for himself in make the right decisions. This is a turning point because now is the time where Hotspur and Hal are really on their own and they must mature quickly to the challenges before them. It will be interesting how each leader will react to the conflicts in the near future. Hal can also learn from Hotspur that his personal problems should not get in the way of war. Hotspur is such a motivated leader Hal can look up to Hotspur for guidance in leading his people to war.

Mon Oct 02, 04:32:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Lauren M said...

This scene reveals Worcester as the level-headed realistic character. While Hotspur goes on in unrealistic optimism and confidence, Worcester takes in and illustrates the seriousness of the bad news brought to them. Shakespeare uses Worcester to contrast Hotspur's ignorance. For instance, when he receives the news that Northumberland is very sick and won't be able to help the rebels, he says to Hotspur in lines 72-74: "This absence of your father's draws a curtain/ That shows the ignorant kind of fear/ Before not dreamt of." Worcester is downright worried but Hotspur brushes off Worcester's discontent without seriously taking it into consideration. He does this with other new problems as well, such as that the prince has undergone a change and seems to be a pretty valiant soldier. Also that Glendower will not be able to assemble his troops in time. Worcester becomes exceedingly worried while Hotspur refuses to be indimidated because his pride is inhibiting his ability to comprehend the huge problems at hand. Instead Hotspur tells himself that he can take the prince, no problem. Although Worcester is Hotspur's buddy, no one can seem to get through Hotspur's thick shield of pride.

Mon Oct 02, 06:11:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Matt P said...

In this scene, Hotspur and Douglas seem to be on the same page and respect each other equally. Hotspur tells Douglas, "...a braver place/iIn my heart's love hath no man than yourself./Nay, task me to my word; approve me, lord." (7-9). Hotspur reveres Douglas because Douglas speaks the truth without trying to flatter Hotspur. Hotspur asks Douglas to test Hotspur's word to see if it is true. Douglas responds, "Thou art the king of honor./No man so potent breathes upon the ground/But I will beard him" (10-12). Douglas says that Hotspur is an honorable man. Douglas also states he will take on anyone without fear, meaning he will test Hotspur. Hotspur honors this by saying "Do so, and 'tis well" (13) This conversation shows the respect each man has for the other, but also the pride both possess which makes them both powerful.
Later in the scene, Hotspur gives a speech about how the absence of his father will allow the rebels who are present to test the King's forces and show their bravery. Hotspur's speech scoffs at the "ignorant kind of fear" (74) Worcester says men will show when they notice the absence of Northumberland. Douglas agrees with this by saying, "There is not such a word/Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear" (84-85). Hotspur and Douglas are on the same page. Douglas agrees with Hotspur's aggression and disdain for the fear of other rebels without Northumberland.
At the end of the scene, the men learn that Glendower will also be missing from the rebels' forces. With this terrible news, Hotspur says, "Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily" (134). Douglas responds, "Talk not of dying. I am out of fear/Of death or death's hand for this one half year" (135-136). These lines contrast Hotspur and Douglas. Hotspur takes a "glass half-empty" and pessimistic approach by saying they may all die because the circumstances are so rough. Douglas comes back with inspiration saying don't talk about dying because I have no fear in this time of insurrection. Doulgas is the less dramatic one in the relationship; the yin to Hotspur's yang, if you will.

Mon Oct 02, 08:01:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Chaser said...

This scene is very important. First of all, we learn that the King gets sick. This is mainly important because it offers Hal a chance to prove his earlier vow to remain not only loyal and mature but to be responsible and prepare to lead the kingdom with dignity. What he cannot control are those advisors. They do not make very wise decisions as a whole and end up getting Henry into a lot of trouble. It shows a lack of true control and power and gives the rebels a stronger incentive and chance to continue to overwhelm the government with instability. How will they ever be able to maintain a stable power if no one can cooperate on sharing it. The rebels are taking it on themselves to try to keep whatever power they earn, but technically, that has nothing to do with Hal and his job. I think this scene is important because it subtly presents this conflict already created earlier in the play, but allows it to surface better.

Mon Oct 02, 09:34:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Brett E. said...

Molly, I love your comment! It's interesting to think that the bad guys don't always have it easy. Hotspur not only has to deal with his rebellion, but also has his sick father to think about. It's a great insight that makes these people seem just as human as you or I.

Tue Oct 03, 07:23:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Nicole M said...

3) this scene gives an interesting insight into Hotspur's character. Hotspur is once again portrayed as immature, and narrow-minded. Hotspur has been so consumed by the thoughts of his rebellion that he has no thought to spare for his ill father that doesn't pertain to the rebellion

Mon Oct 09, 08:22:00 PM 2006  

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