Tuesday, October 03, 2006

King Henry IV -- Act 5, Scene 1 and Instructions

Acting assignments for Act 5:
The Court -- Scene 1
The Rebels -- Scene 2
Combined Group -- Scenes 3 and 4
The Pubcrawlers -- Scene 5

You will blog about each of the three scenes in which you do not act. All three will be original comments this time -- no response to another student's comment required (but if you see one that interests you, by all means, go ahead and respond).

Post a comment about Scene 1 here if you are a member of the Rebels, the Pubcrawlers, or the Combined group.

26 Comments:

Blogger kelsee p said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tue Oct 03, 04:22:00 PM 2006  
Blogger kelsee p said...

3. I found it very interesting the the confrontation between Worcester and King Henry in Act V, scene one basically duplicated the one in Act iV secen 3, in which Hotspur accuses Blunt in a very suprising similar way. I wonder if Shakespeare mad these scence mirror each other for a particulare reason or if it was just an outlying peice of information that I picked up on.

Tue Oct 03, 04:26:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Chennery F said...

10) This scene truly epitomizes Hal's abandoment of Falstaff for Hal's father. This is exemplified in the contrast Shakespeare sets up in this scene. Hal openly joins King Henry by saying, "Yet this before my father's majesty--I am content that he shall take the odds of his great name and estimation." Hal not only proves that he is on his father's side against Hotspur, but that Hal fully believes in his father's cause, for good reason. Only a few lines down does the Prince denies Falstaff by stating "Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship. Say thy prayers, and farewell." Hal goes as far to say here that he barely cares if Falstaff is going to die, that its not worth sacrificing his honor for a bad friendship. This scene just convinced me that Hal is now definitely on his father's side, caring more about his military conflicts than Falstaff's petty problems, therefore proving that he has switched his role models for the better, right before proving himself worthy of becoming king.

Tue Oct 03, 10:41:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Eric G. said...

In this scene there is a set of images involving the night and day. The scene opens withe courtiers worrying that the sun looks pale and sick. The King says that it can't apply to them because bad things only happen to losers. I find the image of a pale dawn interesting because the rebels are trying to usher in a dawn of a new age. Hotspur could also be considered to the dawning of a new breed in his greatness. The dawn being pale demonstrates that Hotspur and his cause are not coming in on a flaming chariot but will soon fizzle away in a misty fog. The King then suggests to Worcester that he again become an obedient orb revolving around the King. I'm pretty sure that they believed in a geocentric so the King is comparing himself to the Earth. Hotspur may be a fleeting light but the King as the earth is constant in all time and space. The final image in the night and day is Falstaff when he says that he wishes it was night and he was home in bed, and Hal says that Falstaff owes a death. I find this interseting because Falstaff previously talked to Hal begging to let Falstaff be one of "Diana's harvesters" and be governed by the night. Perhaps Falstaff is just saying he wishes he were safe at home, but maybe there is an intended message of telling Hal, "I wish we could go back."

Wed Oct 04, 10:30:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Jesse! said...

Chennery F,

I definantly agree that Falstaff and Hal's friendship has significantly weakened. Prince Hal has reached a point where he must accept and change according to his royal status. When he says " nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship" As usual, there is the fat joke but the tone is less comical and very much detached. Unlike the previous Acts, this scene provides a very brief conversation between them and lacks the long stretches of insults. From the beginning, Falstaff was the father figure for Hal but now his real father has taken control. Perhaps Falstaff was a mentor for the "child" in Hal, as little children would befriend silly and entertaining imaginary friends. But soon one must shed the comforts of ignorance and "befriend" reality, as Hal must accept his role as son.

Wed Oct 04, 03:53:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Dayna Z said...

Act 5, Scene 1
#8: At the beginning of the scene, Shakespeare uses weather imagery to foreshadow imminent struggles, as well as to highlight the worried state-of-mind of the king and the prince. The scene begins with King Henry commenting, “How bloodily the sun begins to peer above yon busky hill. The day looks pale at his distemp’rature” (1-3). He observes that the sun is blood-red which makes the day seem as though it has a bad tone. The sun seems almost like an ominous horror floating in the distance, just waiting to attack, suggesting that the king is worried that such a bad event will occur. In fact, this weather imagery foreshadows the deaths that occur in the upcoming scenes, such as that of Hotspur.

Right after this, Prince Hal agrees that “by his hollow whistling in the leaves foretells a tempest and a blust’ring day” (5-6). This additional reference to the threatening weather corroborates what King Henry noticed – that the weather’s menacing quality could foreshadow upcoming battles and bloodshed. These weather images not only hint at the plot for the rest of Part 1, but also convey that the king and prince are both somewhat nervous about what is in store for them that day.

Wed Oct 04, 08:07:00 PM 2006  
Blogger haley said...

Chennery-
I completely agree. Hal's friendship with Falstaff is completely over. This is apparent in scene 3 when Hal sees him lying "dead" on the ground. He says, "What? My old friend? Couldn't all this flesh hold onto a little life? Poor Jack, farewell. I would rather have lost a more valuable soldier. If I were in love with vanity, I'd really miss you. Death hasn't taken anyone as fat today, though it has taken many better men in this vicious battle. I'll have you embowelled soon; till then, lie here in blood, by the great Percy." There seems to be no sadness or compassion in his speech. I think Hal realizes how corrupt Falstaff is and all the bad he represents. However, I think it's better that Hal and Falstaff grow apart because it will help be a better ruler.

Thu Oct 05, 11:32:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Kylee L said...

Act 5 Scene 1
5) In this scene King Henry and Harry meet face to face with Worcester and Vernon right before the battle. Worcester came to deliver a message to the King. The King still does not want to fight. I think that this is interesting of King Henry. I would imagine that he would want to fight Hotspur, but maybe he wants to avoid the damage that the war might cause but isn’t the King tired of Hotspur's desire for power? King Henry feels that the reasoning behind fighting is not legitimate. Hotspur seems to be hungry for control and just wants more authority. Hotspur and the rebels do not honor the King because they feel that King Henry still owes a debt to the Percy family from when they helped overthrow Richard II. King Henry just looks at this reasoning behind fighting as a mere attempt from Hotspur to overthrow the one in power.

Thu Oct 05, 04:54:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Sean K said...

1)
This scene begins with the King and Prince Hal on the battlefield talking about the weather as a way to foreshadow the coming battle. Worcester enters and the King asks him to, “More in that obedient orb again… and be no more an exhaled meteor,” (lines 12-21). Worcester responds by saying that he would rather not fight the King, but that he took more from the state than was fair. He forgot his oath at Doncaster and oppressed the people that got him into power. The King refers to the rebels and their justifications as moody beggars who are waiting for a time of plundering and confusion (lines 81-82). He gives Worcester an ultimatum because he believes, “We love our people well; even those we love/ That are misled upon your cousin’s part,” (lines 104-15). Worcester leaves and Prince Hal and the King believe they will have a battle. The scene ends with Falstaff giving justification for why he will not fight for honor. He believes honor cannot mend broken bones and that no living person can feel it. To him, it is a meaningless icon.

Thu Oct 05, 04:59:00 PM 2006  
Blogger ChristyH said...

Act 5 Scene 1 Response
9) As I was reading this scene, I noticed many instances where honor and courage stand out above all other emotions overcoming the characters in this time of war. I especially noticed the honor and courage Prince Henry exudes as he is presenting his offer to Worcester. He says bravely, "For my part, I may speak it to my shame, I have a truant been to chivalry" (5.1.93-94). For Hal to admit this reveals his coming of age and realization of his poor decisions and ungentlemanly behaviors in his past. His confession also reveals the good inside every man, and how it often just waits for the right moment to show itself.
I also noticed the courage in Hal when he says, "I am content that he shall take the odds...and will, to save the blood on either side, try to fortune with him in a single fight" (5.1.97-100). It takes great courage for a man to sacrifice himself for the lives of his men and the honor of his own nation. Though I think that this speech by Hal shows his readiness to grow up, I think it might also portray his false confidence and innocence in battle, as a one on one fight with Hotspur is a big risk.
Falstaff questions honor in this scene, asking what it really does, and realizes it can't heal wounds and that it is forgotten once death comes. Realizing this, he doesn't want to fight for honor if it won't benefit him in the end. This shows the difference between a real man and one still searching for the meaning of life: the real man (Prince Henry) is willing to risk his life for honor's sake, whereas the lost man (Falstaff) is scared to even try for such a feat.

Thu Oct 05, 06:30:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Emily M said...

Response to Act 5 Scene 1:
5)
As we near the end of this play, Falstaff has always been portrayed as a fat, gluttonious, and greedy man who drifts from tavern to tavern. However, in a short soliloquy at the end of this scene, Falstaff's character is shown in a new light. His speech is eloquent and thoughtful. He talks about honor, and how overrated it is, because the man who seeks honor only receives it in his death. The men who fight for this man's honor are the ones who are suffering: "What is honour? A word. What is in that word honour?...air." Falstaff is criticizing the shallowness of military men who only care about winning.

It is interesting that Falstaff is the one critiquing shallowness, when he is the one who reguarly goes to whorehouses and other places of the like. This soliloquy shows Falstaff's maturity, and the audience and reader gains respect for this man. Both the Prince and Falstaff gain some honor of their own when they are separated from each other. It is as if they are children together who go off to the 'real world' to make something of themselves.

Thu Oct 05, 07:11:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Steph Zepelin said...

2)
This scene is significant because it is a turning point and shows the motives of both side for going into this war.
Without this scene the reader would not see the deeply rooted problems and anxieties of Worcester and King Henry.

Thu Oct 05, 09:09:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Nathan H said...

Emily-
I like your interpretation of Falstaff's soliloquy. You are a lot more forgiving than I am about Falstaff's character. Personally, I found Falstaff's views on honor to be the opposite of what you said. Instead of showing his maturity, I think it shows a lot of the cowardice of Falstaff and his unworthiness to lead the men he was given command of. He is unwilling to die for an idea (honor), but ideas are often the reasons most worth dying for. Falstaff demonstrates his love of life, one full of self-serving purposes, over the importance placed on values of the day he lives in.

Thu Oct 05, 09:16:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Matt P said...

7)
Hal has few lines in this scene, but their delivery is a key part in understatnding his abandonment of Falstaff for his father. Throughout the scene, I would be brooding. Hal's lines in the begining about the weather are dark and full of gloomy imagery. I would be brooding at the end because of my dissatisfaction with Falstaff. When Hal says, "Peace chewet, peace!" to Falstaff I would be very angry and hateful. At the end of the scene, anger, scorn, discontent, and brooding must all come through in my final lines to Falstaff. As Hal, I have had it with Falstaff and his misleading ways. I have turned to my father as my role model to learn how to be king, so I must once and for all break ties with Falstaff.

Thu Oct 05, 10:07:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Sam S said...

I think the most interesting part of this scene is Falstaff's end soliloquy about honor. Falstaff has the complete opposite idea of honor than everyone else does. He says that honor doesn't do you any good unless your dead, and even then, it's just a reputation you get, or good words said about you. He says he could care less about having honor, he just wants to live. I think this completely sums up his character...he doesn't care what people think of him, as long as he gets something out of it.

Thu Oct 05, 10:12:00 PM 2006  
Blogger julie s said...

Emily M-

I agree with your interpretation of Falstaff's soliloquoy. Up untill this point in the play, he has been the gluttonous, obnoxious, token of humor, but here we find him facing something real, rather than a joke. I know it seems out of character for him, and it is in a technical sense, but maybe this is the true Falstaff, and it took something as serious as facing death to bring this out to the audience. A possibility that I proposed though, was this soliloquoy being a vehicle for Shakespeare's own attitude about honor and warfare. Was it possible that this is what Shakespeare thought?

Thu Oct 05, 11:01:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Justin L said...

Response to Act 5 Scene 1:

4) After reading Act 5 Scene 1, a few important quotes stood out to me, all of which carry great meaning in relation to the play. The first quote is really a conversation between the King and Worcester at the beginning of the scene: The King- “You have deceived…unborn times” (5.1.12-22) and Worcester’s response: “ Hear me…this dislike”
(5.1.23-27). This quote stood out to me because at this point in the play the two sides of this conflict both converge on the other, each with surprisingly the same argument, on a certain level. Each side has great passion for the actions that they are about to take (3.2, 4.1), yet each does not want to actually carry those actions out to fruition, as shown through the above statements by the King and Worcester. Both state that their side has not brought about this desperate turn of events, blaming the other for the predicament that they are found in, yet there is one main difference between the two stances that really seem to differentiate between the rightness of their respective causes. As their conversation continues about the upcoming battle, the King gives an “offer of our grace” (5.1.107), an opportunity to end this looming battle (an offer the rebels never make towards the King), showing that the King is not necessarily interested in absolute power, but using to the greatest advantage the power that he does have. It can be noted that the current King killed Richard II, thus would not that show his need for absolute power? However, I think the King is smarter than that, a much more diplomatic king than some would give him credit for being. This leads to the stance that from this point on the King’s cause is cast in the positive light, as heroes of his nation, and the rebel’s in a negative light because he was willing to try and negotiate for peace. They had a chance for peace, a chance to peacefully confront their differences for change, yet the rebels never responded. Why did they not positively respond to be given a chance for peace? Can it be based upon the rebel’s belief that the King forgot his oath to them (5.1.59)? Or could these two quotes be a very small microcosm of the entire theological debate between the two sides of this conflict, a proposition, that based upon the statements of characters in other scenes, seems to be for the most part an accurate reflection of the events that are occurring between these two groups? This could also point to a possible turning point in the play, at which point it becomes who on the right side and who is not. Overall, these two fairly short quotes provide a basis of rationale for the rest of the play in regards to the motives of the two camps, as well as setting up the expected reactions to each side that will be revealed later in the play. This is why these two quotes stuck out to me so strongly.

Thu Oct 05, 11:09:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Amy J said...

#5
In the end of Act V Scene I, Falstaff speaks a soliloquy about the emptiness of honor. He asks, “Can honor set to a leg? no…Or take away the grief of a wound? no…What is honor? A word. What is in that word “honor”? ... Air. Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. ’Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead…Honor is a mere scutcheon” (lines 130-139). I think that this soliloquy gives the reader an entirely new perspective on Falstaff because he has the opportunity to explain his beliefs and actions, and be true to himself. Instead of being a jolly old fat man, who steals and practices immorality, he becomes a human, someone without hope that the reader can relate to. Falstaff seems to be reassuring himself for the reasons he was so immoral in the past. He reminds himself that he does not believe in honor or integrity because they are only words. They are not things of this world, but of an afterlife or a world of make-believe, as he implies with the use of the comparison of honor with a “scutcheon,” or gravestone. Falstaff does not believe that one is rewarded for having honor, only that people may remember one’s honor upon his death. He embraces the idea that honor and perfection cannot be reached by humans, and perhaps that is why he decided to give up trying to find the unattainable and live life as a hedonist, solely searching for pleasure.

Thu Oct 05, 11:13:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Becca S said...

8.)Throughout the scene, I traced nature images, specifically natural forces (like storms, tornadoes etc.)
King: "How bloodily the sun begins to peer / Above yon bulky hill! / The day looks pale / At his distemp'rature" (1-3)

Prince: "The southern wind / Doth play the trumpet to his purposes" (4)

King: "Where you did give a fair and natural light, / And be no more an exhaled meteor" (18-19)

Worcester: "To this we swore our aid: but in short space / It rained down fortune show'ring on your head, / And such a glood of greatness fell on you" (46-48)

Worcester: "The seeming sufferances that you had borne, / And the contrarious winds that held the King / So long in his unlucky Irish wars" (51-53)

I think that each of these statements about nature reveal how the characters in the play always feel like they are the victim. By comparing events in their daily lives to wind storms, meteors, and floods the characters seem so helpless as to what is happening in their lives. The King, the Prince, and Worcester all use statements like this --proving that both sides of the war feel like victims of the other. This is ironic of Shakespeare to put in the last act of the play because really, neither are complete victims of the other but rather oppressors of the other.

The King compares Worcester to an "exhaled meteor" in line 19 and asks him if he's going to continue to be a "prodigy of fear". The King only recognizes the oppressive actions of others but not himself. Worcester responds by telling the King that because of him and the rest of the rebels, fortune rained down on the King, and a flood of greatness fell on him --securing his position as King and the following of the people. The characters' willingness to accuse others of bad behavior and exault themselves over good behavior (while pretty common place amongst the human race) is exaggerated in this scene of the play to show the stubbornness of the characters and the rigidity of society.

Fri Oct 06, 02:55:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Lauren M said...

3.
I was wondering if Harry has truly had a complete turn around from the old, mischievous prince that we saw in the beginning of the play. When he offers to fight Hotspur one-on-one to save many lives, is Harry just bluffing because he believes Hotspur is too proud to accept? Or is Harry really doing this in the interest of his people?

Fri Oct 06, 06:27:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Kaeli K said...

3) I am confused about Falstaff's last speach/sililoquey. I understand that he is talking about honor and how he thinks it isn't any good, but I don't understand what he means when he related honor to dead people.
Reference lines 127-139.

Fri Oct 06, 07:06:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Robyn Louis said...

Although this has been mentioned, I think Prince Henry’s relationships have really grown and matured. In the beginning of this scene, Prince Henry demonstrates his loss of patience with Falstaff. As soon as Falstaff makes a comment Henry tells him “Peace, chewet, peace.” Earlier in the play Henry would have never commanded Falstaff to shut up. He used to look up to Falstaff, but now that Henry has changed, he looks down upon his old friend for what he really is.
Prince Henry’s relationship with his father has changed just as much. When Worcester is denouncing the King, Prince Henry stands up for his father. Both back each other up to defend themselves against Worcester’s argument. This is the first time that the King and his son have worked together. When Prince Henry suggests his idea to fight Hotspur alone, the King supports him, but also expresses his worry for his son.
This scene truly showed how Prince Henry’s relationships with Falstaff and his father have changed.

Sat Oct 07, 03:51:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Dana A said...

Act V Scene I-
5 and 9 kindof) For this scene I wanted to talk about the development (or lack there of) of Falstaff's character. Throughout the play the motif of honor has played a huge role in the development of characters. We learn that Hotspur values honor very highly as a characteristic in a man. He will not give up what he started even when all odds are against him. Even though Hotspur is an egotistical and almost hated person, his character is admirable because of his sense of honor. The same applies to Hal, whose honor is a bit unapparent at first, until we learn whose side he is really on. But Falstaff never shows any honor. He steals, cheats, and lies at the expense of others. He only cares for his overweight self and no one else yet he still expects others to help him out. To me it seems that as the other characters develop and display their honor, Falstaff begins to appear a more and more dispicable character. His lack of honor is truly captured in his soliquoy. "Therefore I'll have none of it. Honor is a mere scutcheon." Falstaff almost seems to be disregarding the existance of honor and claims that he wants nothing to do with it. Falstaff's lack of care for honor makes the reader look down on him because honor was such an important defining trait in a man during Shakesspear's day. I think that Shakespear is denouncing men like Falstaff and though Falstaff was comical, honor and positive development of oneself is much more important than a few laughs.

Sun Oct 08, 04:48:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Karen W said...

Act 5 scene 1

5) I found the most interesting part of this scene came at the end in Falstaff's soliloquy. For the first time in the play, I could relate to Falstaff. He doesn't want to die. Most people don't want to die, but there are some, like Prince Hal who find reasons worth dying for. Falstaff is not convinced that honor is worth sacrificing life. He makes a valid point; Honor is no good if a dead man keeps it. Maybe it makes a good name for those who died for a cause, but what good is honor when you can't bask in its glory in life? It's not immortal; it dies too with its bearer. A dead man is a forgotten one, he is forgotten and so is his honor. Passed honor does not live with the living either. I know it's rather cowardly of Falstaff to say he does not want to die for a noble cause, but at the same time I wonder if any man should die for something they don't believe in. Perhaps honor is really in self-satisfaction and that is why Hal can find it while Falstaff can not. Hal knows that he will go down trying; Falstaff feels he will be cheated if he dies when he does not support his cause of death. Is it cowardly of Falstaff to feel the way he does? I would pity Falstaff if he died with his half hearted attitude.

Sun Oct 08, 08:57:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Nicole M said...

3. This scene is the first time that the reader sees Hal truly step up and take on his role as prince. He acknowledges his mistakes, but also shows maturity in challenging Hotspur to one-on-one combat. Hotspur's admirable qualities are making an appearance in Hal; he is truly growing into his role as future king.

Mon Oct 09, 08:09:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Chaser said...

This is about the 5th time I've tried to get my computer to accept the verification code, so I hope it works. In this scene we finally see the transformation of Hal. In the beginning of the play, Prince Henry was prideful, mischevious, and insecure. Now, we find him to be more mature and capable of being a leader that his father has always wanted him to be. When Falstaff, whose character has remained mostly constant throughout the play, starts up again, Hal silences him. This shows that Falstaff no longer has a sense of control over Hal and that Hal has in turn not only matured enough to take the initiative to get Falstaff to just be quiet, but he has also gained power himself. Additionally, Hal's character also shifts from his earlier naivete and apathy to considerate rationalization. He decides to fight Hotspur, and while King Henry is supportive, we also see that he is truly worried about his son. We have never really seen the King become so concerned about his son's well-being, and as a result, we can truly see how much respect he has developed for his son. Hal has truly evolved into a character of valid importance, and this scene magnificently conveys these special changes.

Wed Oct 11, 12:46:00 PM 2006  

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