HENRY IV, part 2
The focus on the play is centered on the development of Prince Hal into kingly readiness.
*Hal has not yet completely abandoned his wild ways, but his proven bravery in battle and loyalty to his father now make his reckless behavior less distressing. As the old king nears death, Hal assures his father of his love for him and his resolve to be a good king.
*King Henry confesses to Hal he won the crown through treachery, and prays forgiveness for deposing Richard II, the anointed king. Gives Hal two final pieces of advice:
1. Listen to his trusted advisers
2. Unify the English lords with a foreign war.
*At this time, England is in the midst of the Hundred Years' War with France, and intermittent but ongoing war. This is most assuredly the war that Henry IV was prodding Hal to refocus the energies of the country upon, to unify the civil strife.
*At the end of Act 4, the king has died and Hal is crowned Henry V (1413-1422).
Falstaff- had been banished by the Chief Justice, but upon learning of Hal's being crowned returns to London confident that Hal will welcome and reward him at court. He is most forthcoming in this play with his graft and vices, speaking lowly of friends and diminishing the plaudits of others to increase his seemingly incontrovertible hold upon 'court' at the Boars-Head Tavern.
**Hal, however, surprises Falstaff with a chilling speech and warns him to mend his life and stay away from him. Advisers surrounding the king take heart as they witness his integrity and resolve in this. This is the implied notch that resolves the internal unrest in England.
*The play ends with nobles united behind Henry V and ready for war.
STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS
1. Who is Rumour? What is his function?
2. What complications have been caused by Rumour spreading his tale?
1. Northumberland is brought three messages. Who are they from?
2. What telling piece of information does each passage explain?
3. How does Northumberland respond to the presentation of this news?
4. Does Northumberland's attitude change near the end of the scene? What has caused his perspective to be enhanced?
1. Describe the conversation between Falstaff and his page.
2. Why does Falstaff pretend not to hear the Chief Justice?
3. Explain the details of this conversation between Falstaff/Justice and what the outcome is.
1. Name the men introduced in scene three and what their intentions are for this play.
1. Who are Snare and Fang? What is Hostess charging them to do and why?
2. Is there another motive behind the Hostess' actions?
3. How does Falstaff respond to the charge?
4. As Falstaff speaks to the Hostess, what does he convince her to do? What does this say about his character?
5. In the final discussions of the scene, what news is brought to the Chief Justice?
1. Of what does Poins pick on Hal for not doing enough?
2. How does Hal respond to this?
3. What is brought to the Prince by Falstaff's page? (2 reports)
4. What is a Harlot?
5. How do Poins and the Prince attempt to surprise Falstaff at dinner?
1. Name the three (3) persons presented in this scene.
2. How do Lady Percy and Lady Northumberland dissuade Northumberland from joining the rebel army against Henry IV?
3. Where does Northumberland agree to go? Why?
1. Where does this scene take place?
2. What is the physical state of everyone in attendance?
3. Who comes in and makes such a racket that he has to be driven away?
4. How does Falstaff explain the reason for his insults against the noblemen?
5. Who enters with news of the assembling army of the king's?
1. What does Henry IV most miss at the beginning of this act?
2. Why does he miss this so much?
3. How many years has it been since Northumberland helped Henry back to England?
4. Who predicted all the problems Henry would have with the crown?
5. Of what does Henry long to partake at the end of this scene?
ACT 3.2-comic relief
1. Shallow and Silence are characters from Falstaff's past. What is Shallow's profession?
2. Of what do they reminisce in the initial part of the scene?
3. As Falstaff enters, we learn why he has come by. Give the reason.
4. Who enters with Falstaff? What does Bardolph do in Falstaff's absence?
5. When Falstaff returns, what does Bardolph tell him and what does he decide to do?
6. Explain Falstaff's soliloquy at the end of the Act.
1. What is the setting of Act 4?
2. What news has the Archbishop received concerning the case with Northumberland?
3. How many of the King's troops have come to fight? What is the number of the rebel army?
4. Name the 'disease' with which the Archbishop says the country is plagued.
5. What do the rebels present to Westmoreland?
6. When Westmoreland leaves, of what does Mowbray fear?
1. Who is in charge of the King's army?
2. What does the prince decree about the particulars demanded by the rebels?
3. Prince John asks the rebels to discharge their army, which is foolishly followed. Why did the rebels believe that their requests would be answered?
4. In whose name does the Prince give the day?
1. Who arrives in this scene now that the tension has subsided?
2. What is Coleville's fate?
3. Why does Prince John retire to Westminster so quickly?
4. Falstaff's final soliloquy-- explain it.
1. Where does this scene begin?
2. Why does the King scold his sons?
3. Warwick defends Hal. In what way does he do this?
4. What is thought will cause the death of the king?
1. Who visits the king in his chambers?
2. What is taken by Hal as he leaves? Why does he do this?
3. What news does a 'not dead' Henry IV finally give to his eldest son?
4. Describe Hal's verbal reaction to the information.