Monday, October 09, 2006

King Henry IV, Part 1 -- Final Reflection

Please consider the following questions and post your final thoughts about the King Henry IV, Part 1 unit. Complete your comment by Thursday, October 12, 2006.

What person in the play do you know best?
With whom do you identify?
What did you learn about yourself in doing Henry IV, Part 1?
What do you think of this play in comparison with other Shakespeare plays you have read?
What did you think of the way we studied this play?
What did you think of doing the reading journal on the blog? (Keep in mind that you still would have done a reading journal if we hadn’t used the blog – you just would have done it on paper.)
What suggestions would you make for this unit?

26 Comments:

Blogger kelsee p said...

The person in the play that I personally seem to know the best and identify with is Hal. From the very beginning of the play, I always empathized with him and found him to be a character who was easy to relate to. This play in comparrison to other Shakespeare plays which I have read such as Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet....i actually found rather dull and bland. Although there were exciting parts, I just wasn't overly interested in the plot. I liked the way that we studied the play, however I did not like the acting troops. I would have preferred to just spend time in class discussing the acts in the play that we read at home. And, this is my personal opinion, of course, but I absolutely hate blogging. I feel as though it is harder to really get feedback from you in our responces when we blog rather than turning in a journal in class. I would suggest allowing students to pick the method (either blogging or turning in) that works the best for them and their personal learning style, because if it were up to me, I would absolutely never blog.

Mon Oct 09, 01:58:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Robyn Louis said...

I liked this Shakespeare play more than others I have read, because of the humor in it. It was fun to read a Shakespeare book that was serious and yet very funny. The only other Shakespeare book I have read that I enjoyed was Taming of the Shrew.
The way we studied this play was also beneficial for me. Acting out the scenes was very beneficial to me. This made the play fun and easier to understand.
I also enjoyed doing the reading journal on the blog. I thought it was more convient to do our journals on the computer. I also liked how we had a variety to write about. We could choose what we wanted to write about, and then respond to others. If we had had to write our journals to turn in, in class, we would have had to write about the same thing and we wouldn’t have been able to respond as well, without a class discussion. The reading journals on the blog were definitely a benefit for me.
There are very few things I would do to change this unit. First, I would have liked a calendar of when we are going to be reading each act and what scene we would be preparing. It would have been helpful so that we could do the reading when we had time rather than waiting so we knew what to do. The only other thing I would change about this unit was the length of time. I think this play dragged out a long time for me. Although I would like the unit to have been shorter, I can’t think of anything that I would cut out of the unit to save time.
Overall, I really enjoyed and benefitted a lot from this unit. I would like if our next unit was similarly done.

Mon Oct 09, 08:07:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Molly M said...

I know Hal the best by the end of this play. I feel like we see his development and maturity throughout the play, allowing us to know who he was, who he becomes, and who he intends to be in the future. Also all of the other characters are connected through Hal, and are used to enhance his change. As we talked about today in class, Hotspur and Falstaff's "deaths" are symbolic of Hal's change. We see that he has become who he wanted to become and who he said he would become in his first soliloquy when he explained that his faults would make his greatness shine even brighter. I also identify with Hal the most. I feel like we were given the opportunity to see his situation and how he was faced with so many different responsibilities and the need for him to fill the role of prince, but in a smart way. Because we see his development and how he changes, we are able to relate and understand his method. We can now see why he spent so much time ignoring his responsibilities as royalty and we can be grateful for his success in the end when he redeems himself in his father's eyes. Through studying Shakespeare in this way, I learned that I am more capable of understanding his language on my own than I felt I was. It gave me confidence, and also was good practice for the AP test in that we were challenged to do things on our own. I think that the way that we studied King Henry was very helpful. We learned to do things on our own and also had the freedom to be creative. However I wish that we could have had more class discussion time in the end. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to hear everyone else’s opinions and views and also the clarification from groups that had studied other parts of the play more thoroughly was very helpful. I didn't mind the blog, I think that it was frustrating at some times because I would have rather had an actual discussion, but it challenged us to go deeper into the scenes that we weren't performing. It also was better than writing it because it allowed us to see everyone else’s opinions and impressions from different scenes!

Mon Oct 09, 09:42:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Matt P said...

The character I identified best with from Henry IV is Hal. I related to Hal because I know the feeling of people expecting something from you, and not being ready to do it. This taught me a little more about myself because I learned, through much deliberation, that I am ready to live up to some expectations, but not ready to fulfill others. I really understood Hal because I found his plan for living as he pleased and then changing his ways very interesting. This also might have been an excuse for indulging his desires, but either way, his soliloquy about being a shimmering piece of metal in the dirt really caught my attention and was, by far, my favorite part of the play.

I'm not really sure why we studied this play, but, since this is and English class, I'm sure it is partly because of the symbols, motifs, and themes strewn throughout the play. However, since most, if not all, Shakespeare plays have these elements, I think we studied this particular play because it is a side of Shakespeare most of us have not seen before. In our other high school English classes, we have generally read tragedies like Romeo and Juliet and Mcbeth. Henry IV, on the other hand, is a historically based play involving a substantial amount of comedy. Because of this comedy, supplied mostly by Falstaff, Henry IV is my favorite Shakseperian play. I enjoyed the mixture of comedy, action, history, and thematic statements about fulfilling duties.

As for our study methods for this play, the acting out of the scenes helped my understanding tremendously. I liked the blogging, even though it is somewhat inconvenient, because I got to see what other people had to say about the play. This clarified many of my questions throughout our study. Also, I enjoyed the informality of the blogs because it really lets you put your ideas out there clearly with language everyone can understand, instead of stifled comments limited by a rigid, formal structure. If I could make one suggestion for the study of this unit, it would be to have one or two more days of class discussion to get everyone on the same page.

Mon Oct 09, 10:07:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Chennery F said...

I understood Hotspur probably better than anyone in the play, since my group had to play him most often. He was very energetic and was a lot of fun to act out. I probably identify most closely with Hal, because he seems just like us. A young man who wants to just go out and have fun, but is getting pressure from his dad to act more responsibly. Though none of us have to deal with royal bloodlines to get in the way of our fun, I think we all feel some that that balancing act Hal deals with in trying to discover who he is, what he wants and try to please his father all at the same time.
I really liked how we broke up into three groups. The three groups made it simple to understand what was happening in the scene knowing ahead of time it was a "pub-crawler scene" or "court scene." I did find it interesting, though, that the play was named after a member of the court, but most of the scenes were acted out by rebels or pub-crawlers. Maybe Shakespeare was trying to prove that more goes on surrounding the crown that history books simply teach us. I also really enjoyed the blog. Not only did it not waste paper, but it allowed me to view other's comments, to get ideas for the scenes I was acting out or the scenes that I didn't understand. And I never felt the blogs were too tedious or that I couldn't share my ideas freely, I could. Perhaps we could have talked more about the significance of the scenes slightly more than how well the actors performed it because I don't feel like I know this play quite as well as other Shakespeare plays. It isn't really neccesary to dissect this one apart line by line, but maybe if Sale, you could have led us to the most important parts of each scene more clearly I would be able to understand the play as a whole a little better. But props for making a seemingly boring play be brought to life for us!

Mon Oct 09, 10:20:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Kylee L said...

The person in the play that I know the best would be Hal. I learned the most about him and the most from him. I learned that he is kind of a stubborn character but when desperately needed he comes to the aid of his father. I learned the most from him because I watched him grow and develop into a more mature man. He showed me that sometimes you just need to take on your own responsibilities which will in return give you more respect. His character traits and his development into a much more mature person were fun to read about.

In comparison to other Shakespeare plays that I have read I really enjoyed King Henry IV, Part 1. I think one of the main reasons as to why I enjoyed it so much was because of the acting and involvement we had throughout the whole play.

I also really enjoyed doing the reading journal on the blog. By blogging we could easily read and comment the thoughts of other people and a lot of the time the other blogs clarified a lot for me.

Tue Oct 10, 04:10:00 PM 2006  
Blogger ChristyH said...

After finishing the play, I feel like I know Falstaff the best. I know that he is a drunken thief, and that he doesn't value his life. Falstaff is fun-loving for sure, but he doesn't take things very serious and is a bad influence on Hal, when he knows Hal is one day going to be king. Falstaff is scared to fight for something he believes in (Hal's becoming King), so he wastes away his life doing the only thing he knows best: drinking and stealing. Though I know Falstaff the best, I feel I can identify with Hal the most. I believe it is good to not grow up too fast, and to have fun while you are young. Yes, many expectations are in place for my future, as well as Hal's, but they will be fullfilled as we grow and mature. Along with Hal, I believe people shouldn't grow up too fast, and parents should realize the shoes will be filled, just not too soon.
I liked the presentations of the scenes because they really helped me to see the emotions in the characters rather than just reading thier lines. However, I would have liked to have had some discussion days in class to clarify some questions I had after reading it on my own. I really liked the blog because I could get my thoughts out, as well as read other's opinions and get different insights to the play. It was good to have the virtual discussion, yet a few class discussions would have been nice.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading King Henry IV and I learned a lot form the characters in this play, and from Shakespeare!

Tue Oct 10, 09:09:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Melissa said...

Wow, I can't believe it's over!

Looking back on King Henry IV, Part I, I think I identified and got to know Hal the best out of all the characters. He was such a complex character that endured numerous changes not only in his personality and demeanor, but his ideals and virtues as well. His journey throughout the play is very interesting to me. He begins on such a low level and so far away from royalty, and he ends with a great big bang and high note, redeeming himself and gaining honor and valor beyond compare. This procession he makes from low to high is how I got to know him so well, and why I definitely relate to him on many different levels. I think everyone has expectations they should fulfill to please someone, or themselves, just like Hal has to live up to the king's expectations. I also believe that wordly and experienced people (such as Hal, living amongst pub crawlers and nobility; and the kind of person I try to be)that have known many different surroundings and people always have an easier time finding their path to success as Hal does through his journey.

I have read a few other Shakespeare plays (Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, Midsummer, Othello, Tempest, Taming of the Shrew... quite a few...), and I always avoided the historical plays like they were the plague. I thought they would be boring; basically a live version of a history book. After reading this play, I now know that is not the case. I actually found it very interesting, thoughtful, and funny. And, seeing as I don't know English history off the back of my hand, I did find myself guessing and predicting what would happen to Hal and King Henry in the future.

The blog was ok. I did easily forget about it until the day it was due and Mr. Sale reminded us. It's easy to forget, I guess, because it's not pen and paper, right in front of you. But other than that, it was a nice haven for my thoughts that I find I can not express in class. I always find writing my thoughts down easier, for some reason.

Tue Oct 10, 10:54:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Stacie C said...

Throughout King Henry IV, Part 1, I felt that I knew Hal the best, but I identified with both Hal and his enemy, Hotspur. Hal really struggled with the fact that his life was a series of expectations, laid out clearly for him, and that many of them were somewhat unrealistic. Hotspur, on the other hand, worked hard for most of his life to challenge the King, and I think I probably respected him more for that, because he wasn't born into the same stature of power as Hal was. There was probably more in the text, though, about Falstaff. Although he talks constantly, I feel like I still don't fully understand Falstaff, and furthermore, I really dislike him, even though he does provide a good contrast to Prince Hal. I thought it was really good that we discussed the meaning of the final battle, Hal's final comments to his "dead" friend and Hotspur, and the significance of Falstaff carrying Hotspur's body away. I like the idea of blogging, but after a while, started to get bored with the concept because we did so many of them. I liked that we had to do responses to another person's blog because it made you see how others approached the text, and gave some new insights. I liked the acting troupes, but maybe it would be good to switch the groups periodically, or maybe not perform all of the scenes, because I felt like we spent more time planning the scenes than actually discussing them. Finally, I thought that the charts that we did on the family lines were helpful, and that they helped me to decipher the motives for each side. Overall, Henry isn't my favorite Shakespearean play, but I thought that we did a good job with the text!

Wed Oct 11, 12:00:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Chaser said...

I identify myself with Hal, in the sense that over the past few years, and especially over the past 6 months, based on something that has happened in my own life, I can really see a huge sense of maturity and growth in myself, and I think Hal also experiences a similar transformation. I see a lot of myself in Hal, starting somewhat confused and not certain of his role but later taking the time to discover what he really needs to do and what is going to be best for him, even though it means he has to let go of some of the pieces of his past. I didn't like the play near as much as I liked Hamlet, Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet, but I did relate to Hal well and that helped to make the play a little more worth reading to me. I don't know how to put it, other than as if it were almost like this play wasn't even written by Shakespeare to me, I just didn't connect to it well and I absolutely love Shakespeare. I was really disappointed in reading this play because my expectations were much higher. I enjoyed being able to act out the scenes, but I feel that more time should have been spent analyzing them. Shakespeare is very challenging at times, and I think we could have benefitted from spending more time discussing it. Perhaps not acting out every scene but alternating between acting and more discussion-based analysis would have been better; plus it would have added more variety. I enjoyed the blogs in the sense that we were able to read what our peers wrote, however I would have liked to get more feedback from Mr. Sale about my individual blogs. If I was lacking on some of them, I had no way of really knowing because I didn't have a tangible copy to see how it would be evaluated. In another sense, I H-A-T-E-D HATED HATED HATED blogging so much because I cannot even begin to start telling how frustrated I got with publishing them. I am very computer literate, but I don't know whether it was a firewall or just bad luck but everytime I would type in the word verification, it wouldn't work. Over and over. No matter how I input the letters, it never worked. I lost quite a few early blogs because of it and later learned to save first, but even up until act 5, I could not get them to publish the first time, and as a result, some were published after the deadline. If I could have just written it, that would not have been an issue. I would say for this unit in the future, less focus on blogging, and more of an independent self-study journal. Then, discuss the play in class, that would replace the blog feature. I would then recommend reducing the amount of acting. It was really enjoyable to watch and perform, but I did not gain as much as I think I could have had we approached it in other directions. For the most part, though, I felt the unit went smooth and was enlightening. Only some of the mediums used to achieve that success seemed frustrating.

Wed Oct 11, 01:08:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Emily M said...

I think that every person in our class relates the most to Hal because of our age and situation in our lives. Right now we are in high school, where we have the option of 'goofing off' everyday, or to be a stressed honor student trying to raise their GPA even higher. This is very similar to Hal's point of view because he currently is 'wasting'his life away in the taverns, but he knows that he has the option of becoming something great. The key to Hal's success is that he has his easygoing buddies to help him stay grounded. THis is obviously similar to our lives, because we all know that we have it in us to become something grand, yet we must decide when and how to reach it.
King Henry IV was very different from the other SHakespeare plays I've read. To be honest, it was less exciting and was a disappointment from the last play I read (Hamlet). Mrs. Ferrill drilled into my head, "You read Shakespeare for his incredible use of language and for his understanding of human nature." In King Henry IV, I didn't feel the intense power of those 2 elements, like I did with Hamlet. However, I grew to adore Falstaff! He made the play worth reading. The dynamic between Hal and Falstaff and their quick-witted dialogues were hilarious.
Mr. Sale, I'm not going to lie- I hated the format we studied the play. It would have been fun to perform a few of the acts, but the process we went through each week was very monotonous. By the end, we were bored with performing. It would have at least been nice to break up the performing with watching a clip of a real performance of the play, or even listening to the play on a tape. I would have liked to examine Falstaff a little more in depth.

Wed Oct 11, 02:20:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Amy J said...

I think that the character I know best is Hal. After all, he is the main character, and many of the other characters serve as foils to him, or characters that highlight some aspect of Hal’s nature. The play also seemed based on his turnaround. I also identify with Hal the best. He seems overwhelmed by the expectations his father and even his friends have set for him. I think that is part of his reason for originally rebelling – to defy everyone’s expectations. This is tempting for any teenager.

King Henry IV, Part I was very different from the other plays I have read by Shakespeare, primarily because it was a history, rather than a comedy or tragedy. Because of its historical vein, I found it less interesting and action-filled, than, say, Hamlet. The characters other than Hal also did not seem quite as multi-faceted as some of Shakespeare’s other characters. I enjoyed the humor, especially with the pubcrawlers’ scenes, but it was simply not very exciting. Some of the monotony also came from the way we all performed every scene and then discussed the group’s performance. It would have been more helpful to me if the class had, as a whole, discussed the importance of each scene, and its symbolism, ideas, and purpose, rather than analyzing our acting skills.

Writing on the blog was alright, but again I would prefer to discuss those ideas in class, which would be much less time-consuming than reading everyone else’s responses to the scenes.

Wed Oct 11, 06:11:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Dana A said...

I will agree with everyone else that the person I identify with and know the most about is Hal. We spent the most amount of time analyzing his character, and we got to know the other characters a little but only how they related to and affected Hal. Maybe that was because Hal was the most complex and unpredictable character or because he was the whole point of the play, but either way I feel I know most about Hal. This play was definately easier for me to understand than some of Shakespear's other plays, but it was also way less action packed and way too long. This play seemed to carry on and on and that leads me into whether i liked the format of studying this play. I will be honest and say that I definately did not like the way we studied this play. This unit took forever and I felt like we were doing basically the same thing everyday, only broken up by a few Tuesday writings. I think that we definately should have done some acting but not every single scene of every act. Sometimes we should have just had to read a scene and blog on it and leave it at that. I actually did like the blogging. Just by reading a few of the comments I could get a much better sense of what was going on and see what everyone else had to say.

Wed Oct 11, 06:46:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Steph Zepelin said...

-What person in the play do you know best?
The person in the play that I know the best would be Falstaff. I payed Falstaff the most attention because he was an interesting character and an integral figure in all of my group's pub-crawler scenes. He made me laugh. I really liked his character so I think I focused most on him.

-With whom do you identify?
The character that I identify most with would have to be Hal. This play could almost be viewed as a Shakesperean "coming-of-age" play for Hal. I am experiencing some of the things that Hal went through. I really want my parents to be proud of me on graduation and I hope that I live up to their expectations, much like how Hal has to live up to Henry's view of a perfect son (Hotspur).

-What did you learn about yourself in doing Henry IV, Part 1?
There comes a time in everyone's life when they have a very major turning point that could take their life in drastically different directions.

-What do you think of this play in comparison with other Shakespeare plays you have read?
I think that this is one of the most boring of the Shakespearean plays that I have read. I really prefer "Romeo and Juliet" and "MacBeth" to this one. I just found it confusing in the beginning because of all the historical pretext that the reader had to know in order to understand the play.

-What did you think of the way we studied this play?
I liked acting out the scenes. I was really interesting to see how other people interpreted the exact same passages.

-What did you think of doing the reading journal on the blog? (Keep in mind that you still would have done a reading journal if we hadn’t used the blog – you just would have done it on paper.)
I liked blogging. I had no problems with the site or using the technology and I always enjoy saving trees!

-What suggestions would you make for this unit?
I have no suggestions. It was a pretty fun unit.

Wed Oct 11, 06:48:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Kaeli K said...

The person I know best is Hal and Falstaff. I can identify with both of them, but more Hal than Falstaff just because I am more likely to think like Hal than Falstaff. I learned that I shouldn't be affraid to perform, read, or take a big part. I realized that my ideas are actually good and valid points. This is not my favorite Shakespeare play, I really liked Hamlet just because I enjoyed the dynamics of his character and trying to figure him out. This play was a little more history to me, which isn't bad, but I just liked Hamlet better. I personnally like a really structured class, I would have prefered to actually do some of the reading as a class, and go through each scene, with Mr. Sale leading the discussion, and extracting the important parts because I feel like I really LEARN the play that way where as the way it was done this time, I feel like I just read the play. I'm not going to lie, blogging was not very much fun. But I do have to say that it is better than keeping a journal because it is easier to write and I can read comments of my classmates. My suggestions would be to do a little more teaching on each scene and highlight the important things a little better, more class discusions on the scenes, and more talk on the importance of Henry VI.

Wed Oct 11, 07:05:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Dayna Z said...

As almost everyone who commented before me said, I feel like I know Hal best. He was such a major character in the play, and considering most of the play was about his transformation from a pub-crawler to a courtier and his preparation for his life as king, it was tough not to get to know this character. I also could definitely identify with him best because he spends most of the play trying to figure out who he is and who he wants to be. Since we are all looking at colleges right now and basically trying to figure out the same things about ourselves, Hal was really relatable.

I was fairly disappointed with this play compared to other Shakespeare plays that I have read. My favorite Shakespeare play is Hamlet because it was just so powerful to me and it really explored human nature and really moving ideas like grief, rage, and love. Compared to that, Henry IV just seemed sort of dry and flat to me. Shakespeare did not go into nearly as much depth about his characters’ powerful emotions and I also just thought that the plot was not nearly as interesting as the Shakespeare plots I have read before (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet).

I liked performing the skits a lot at first, but eventually it grew a little tiring. It felt like we spent more time preparing for our scenes than it took to perform them. Also, although they helped with interpreting how the characters felt or what was happening, I think something to keep in mind for next year is having the students who perform each scene summarize it, tell its significance, and point out anything important after they perform it because sometimes the performances didn’t really help any more than just reading the lines in a more fun way.

I thought the blog was alright. At times it was a little tedious, but it was really nice to be able to read everyone’s comments about the scenes because they often clarified details for me. I think it would have been better to leave it much more unstructured though because then people could comment on each other's and have more of a discussion by building on ideas instead of jumping around to random ideas from post to post.

This post sounds pretty pessimistic, but I generally thought it was a good unit (just not exactly great).

Wed Oct 11, 07:22:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Sean K said...

The character I related to the most in this play is Hotspur because I hold on to my beliefs even if that means being stubborn, like Hotspur did towards the end of the play. I admired him for deciding to fight against the King, when could have easily accepted a deal because he believed the King had transgressed too much to deal with. Most people would take the easy way, but he chose martyrdom. Also, I can relate to his loyalty for friend Mortimer. He was offended for the lack of ransom for Mortimer, and stuck up for him, which is the relationship I have with my best friend. Though Falstaff was a surprising character to see in a Shakespeare play, I enjoyed Hamlet and Macbeth more because they included more soliloquies that reveal inner conscience, like the “To be or not to be” in Hamlet. Compared to a reading journal, I prefer the blog. This is because it allows me to interact with other people’s ideas and see what everybody else learned from a scene. The only critic I have about the blog is that comments should be more concise, like comments in the Socratic circle.

Wed Oct 11, 07:46:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Justin L said...

After reading King Henry IV, I know King Henry’s character the best. For some reason, Hal’s character never made much sense to me, for he always seemed to be doing the ironic thing, the action that contradicted the actions that he should have been taking, yet still at a later point returning and completing his necessary actions. However, King Henry’s character made sense to me. I understood that he knew the position that he was in and now that he was there, he had to uphold his actions to the best of his abilities. He understood that he had to protect the country and look out for its future, as seen in his slight hesitance to conduct the battle with the rebels, as well as his urgent attempts to coerce his son, Prince Hal, in returning to become and live as the king that he was always meant to become. There was something about the regal presence exuded by the King that attracted my attention to him, even when I know what he did to gain the crown of England. To me, it seems as if he understands what he did was wrong, and now he is trying to live the perfect life to atone for his sins against the peoples of England. I also identified on a certain level with the King because I was able to understand the feeling of knowing that I have done something wrong, okay it was not that wrong, but still I got the point, that I know I had to make up for with my actions. In my Christian faith, this is a central theme of forgiveness and atonement, so the life of the King made sense in my mind, allowing me to easily identify with that character.

From reading this play, I learned that I have a hard time finding honor and integrity in a person. In this play it seems as if that was not that hard of a standard to achieve, if that standard even existed at all if we are to accept Falstaff’s arguments relating to honor. To gain honor, one must do more that atone for what one does wrong, they must begin to live and advocate a positive lifestyle, which none of these characters really seemed to embrace. Some began to take that road, such as the King and Hal, but none of them actually became pilgrims on that journey. I wanted the characters to reach a fulfilling life conclusion about who they were, yet none of them reached a satisfactory endpoint. Falstaff, still totally dishonorable, Hal, certainly ironic in his relation to honor, and the King, understanding what honor is, but not fulfilling all of honor’s requirements. I let no one off of the hook, showing myself that in my mind for one to achieve honor and integrity, one must truly mean to live, not stumble across is based upon accident or necessity, one must truly want to live in that fashion. I liked this play a lot better than a lot of Shakespeare’s other plays based on the sole fact that there at least was some sharp and funny with incorporated into the historical story produced by Shakespeare. I liked that some history was involved, even though it was not perfectly accurate, but it put a unique twist on the writing that intrigued me. All of the other plot lines of Shakespeare’s always bored me. I always found them pointless, but that is just my analytical and historical mind coming through because I really prefer non-fiction to fiction reading material.

I enjoyed the way that this play was studied because the acting troops allowed me to interact with the scenes that otherwise I probably would have skipped over and not looked at, at a deeper level. I liked the small discussions after the play, yet I thought sometimes they remained to vague and congratulatory, rather than analytical and descript. This could be tweaked a bit to make it a bit more effective in bringing out the meaning of the scenes. I liked doing the reading journals online because it put a unique twist on an otherwise ordinary writing assignment. I thought it was effective in getting the students to put up decent and logical arguments because they knew that others would be reading those posts. I felt like some of the scenes were rushed through and others we went through at a snail’s pace. I think it would be helpful to even out those times, so that it seems of a more in-depth and purposeful reading of the play. That is my main suggestion for this unit next year. Overall, I enjoyed King Henry IV.

Wed Oct 11, 08:06:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Karen W said...

What do you think of this play in comparison with other Shakespeare plays you have read?

I found the action in this play rather static compared to other Shakespeare plays I have read. I felt like I was reading the same scenes over and over again. Perhaps this is because the one dynamic character is Hal, and all of the other characters remain predictable, it made parts of the play a bit tedious. I think that Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream has a more interesting plot. In saying this, I realize that A Midsummer Night's dream has many dynamic characters and they all work to carry the twisted scheme. Henry IV relies mainly on Hal and political turmoil to push the plot. Perhaps the reason I did not enjoy this play as much as others is because I find I am surrounded by politics and it would have been nice to read something more out of the ordinary. Then again, Shakespeare is a great writer because he can capture everyday human emotions which are hard to express. This one just didn't click for me, I don't think I could relate to this play as well as I have to others... perhaps because I have never been ruled by a king, never met a king, or had the responsibilities of a king. I could relate characters to present day political figures, but it was hard to comprehend the character's emotions because I don't relate to politicians on a personal level.

The way we analyzed the book in class made the play less tedious because each group came up with unique ways to present their scenes, and I enjoyed watching them.

Wed Oct 11, 08:32:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Maya R said...

Well, I don't think I relate to any of the characters in this play, but the one I am most pleased with is Hal. At the beginning, he was a scum bag that I did not get along with. However, by the end, I was touched by his courage and honor and maturity growth.
I did not enjoy reading this play as much as other Shakespeare plays I have read, because I found it very hard to understand and sometimes very boring. However, I really enjoyed acting out the scenes, that really helped me understand it better.
When I first thought about my reaction to this blog, I was going to say I hated it. However, as I got to thinking, I realized it was actually quite helpful. In some ways it was inconvenient because I could never respond unless I was on the computer and writing reactions on paper is normally easier for me. But, it was very helpful for me to read other people's blog to help me understand the play more. It was also interesting to see other comments and add comments whenever I wanted to. All in all, the blog was very helpful. Thanks blog!

Wed Oct 11, 08:58:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Eric G. said...

I feel like I know Falstaff the best because he is the only truely reliable characture in the play. Everyone else is good in public and bad when everyone else is gone. Falstaff is just plain bad, by far the most constant and predictable characture in the play.
I probably identify most with Hotspur in this play. I sometimes get so focused in on my goal that I lose track of the bigger picture. Even if my goal is a worthy one I can often spend too much, friendships, relationships, personal satisfaction, ect. in the pursuit.
From Henry IV pt. 1 I learned not to count anyone out and that all of us as Seniors have a long life ahead of us to change ourselves for better or worse.
I liked this play more than most of Shakespeare's plays mostly because I got the Shakespearian language moreso than in the past. There are a lot of funny and deep subtelties that I assume Shakespeare always uses I just missed in the past.
I really liked the way we studied this play. I wish I could have rotated my focus though and not always been a rebel. Maybe for one act the roles could switch.
I liked the online blog, because I can read other's ideas easily and because it is less formal I feel I can just kick around an idea even if it might be a dead end.

Wed Oct 11, 09:37:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Lauren M said...

In comparison to other Shakespeare plays that I have read, I liked King Henry IV, Part 1 more than MacBeth, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. Although it was a bit tedious at times, I felt that I understood Shakespeare's language more than I have with his other works, therefore I didn't have to read it to death to get a clear understanding.

I would have preferred a bit more variety for the assignments. By the time we got to Act Five, I was royally sick of blogging. The repetition got a bit tedious. I thought we could have used our class time much more wisely than we did. Acting out the scenes didn't improve my understanding of the play to the extent to allot that amount of time. I can understand acting out some of the more important scenes, but considering we don't need to know how to act on the AP test, I thought it was a waste of time. Spending 5 weeks on one play seemed ridiculous considering that for our next unit of poetry we're only going to seriously examine one or two poems which is a required skill for the AP test. I thought that our class time could have been spent more valuably.

Suggestions for the unit: Make it shorter. I could have gotten the same understanding if the unit was 3 weeks with only half of the acting.

Wed Oct 11, 09:45:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Kendra W said...

I think after reading Henry IV I feel like I know Falstaff the most (or at least liked him the best). He's this fun-loving drunk guy who always lightens up the mood and lives life on his time, no once else's. I think everyone can identify with knowing a crazy person in real life like him. He's the type of person who you love to death because of his humor and personality but you can only take so much of him before you need a break. I don't know about anybody else but I related to Hal the most because as a senior and making huge decisions about my life, there's a lot of pressure to succeed and go the right direction (don't screw up!). Sometimes I want to just enjoy my senior year and hang with friends, but then I know I need to keep a responsible state of mind and make sure all my actions will lead me to a smart future.
I did not like this play in comparison to other Shakespeare plays I've read like Hamlet and Macbeth. I understand it's a history play but the plot wasn't very interesting and it was hard to get excited about it. I thought acting out the scenes was helpful though, it made the storyline a lot easier to follow. I was disappointed that we didn't do anything else with the play though, and watching the performances got a little old after a while. I also wish we could have spent more time just talking about the play because I didn't feel as prepared as I could have been for the Tuesday writing.
I liked the reading blog for the most part because I enjoyed reading everybody's thoughts. I liked not having to turn anything in. It was frustrating for me at times because my internet is not working very well and sometimes my blogs wouldn't come through at all after trying about a million times to post them.
Overall, Henry wasn't horrible but definitely nothing special for me. I was let down with Shakespeare, sometimes I even forgot he wrote it because nothing was really amazing about the writing style.

Thu Oct 12, 06:06:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Sam S said...

The person I know best is Hal. He seemed to me the most relatable person in the play(except maybe Falstaff...we all know we honors kids do nothing but drink and steal!! Just kidding!). I think part of the fact that he was so relatable were the themes of growing up and finding yourself, which we are all going through right now. In comparison to other plays I thought Henry IV was boring, especially compared to Hamlet. It may have been depressing, and everyone dies, but there's a lot of action going on. I liked acting out the scenes, and I liked seeing how different groups interpreted things. Also, acting it out makes me understand it better. I'm a firm believer that plays should be acted, not read. However, I think we should have discussed more on the themes and motifs of the play. The only discussion of the play took place on the blog, and I personally only read the blog in order to do responses to other people. However, I definitely prefer blogging to journals, especially because journals take time out of class periods.

Thu Oct 12, 10:13:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Nicole M said...

I identified with Hal, especially at the beginning of the play. I definitely understand being overwhelmed by responsibilities and just wanting to forget them all! I liked this play compared with other Shakespeare plays that I've read. I could identify with the characters more, and it seemed much more realistic. I liked the way we studied this play. I think I gained much more from it by having to read and interpret it on my own before we worked on it as a class.

Fri Oct 13, 06:37:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Becca S said...

By the end of the play, I think I knew Hal best. As a young person, I felt a connection with him as he developed a sense of maturity. I think I too am at a developmental stage of my life that can really go multiple directions. Hal's maturity is his decision to choose the responsible route and I often find the same conflict in my own life --in this way I also identify best with Hal.


I learned that taking the responsible route (like Hal did by defending his father and taking the throne) might not result in one's desires. Though Hal turned around into a good character by the end of the novel, I'm not sure he had any desire to do so. Hal felt pressure mostly from his father but also by the monarchical society he was enveloped in. Just because he takes the throne and succeeds does not necessarily mean he is doing what he WANTS to do. I hope that I will have the honesty to myself and the will to do what I want to do to personally succeed--regardless of societal or parental expectations.

Compared to other Shakespeare I have read, I think Henry IV was alright. Though I respect him, I am not a die-heart fan of Shakespeare like some people are; but I do understand his amazing contributions to literature. I liked Hamlet more than King Henry IV but I liked King Henry more than Romeo and Juliet or MacBeth.


I liked the "acting" version of studying the play while I also despised it. I recognize the importance of studying Shakespeare as it was intended to be interpreted --in play form. However, I am no actress. I have no prospects of being an actress nor do I have any desire to stand up in front of everyone and act as if I knew what I was doing. Acting is the very subject that inevitably brought my participation levels in Mrs. Ferril's class to a personal low --though today, I still would not take back my stubborness and act. During King Henry, it made me relatively uncomfortable when I had to play big roles and sincerely lessened the "enjoyment" aspect of the play.


Because the reading logs are inevitable, I really liked using the blogs. Computers simplify and organize without any effort on my part to do so.

While I despised the acting, I would not have removed it. I think that my personal grievances don't amount to justifying changing Shakespeare's intent. I do not think that the acting should be removed, but should be optional (at least lessened) for people who do not have any desire to act. In Ferril's class I was never willing to make a public fool of myself, but I also knew that my grade was not dependent on it. And I still understood Hamlet and Macbeth as well as anyone else.

Tue Oct 17, 12:35:00 AM 2006  

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