About a year after I saw King Henry IV-part one in Stratford upon Avon, I have finally found out what happens next. Sure I could have read part 2 before now, but I had been reluctant given my lack of knowledge of the story. For all the good things about it, Shakespeare is not the easiest to read. Each time you watch/read a play you pick up more and more, and are thus able to appreciate it more. Often the first time through you spend the whole time not knowing who the people are, what they are talking about etc- because you don’t yet know the context, and you only work out what is happening at the end of the scene. Once you know the context then the individual lines start to make more sense.
In part two, we see the old King Henry decline in health and worry over the quashing of the rebellion and his kingdom’s future. We watch as his younger son deals somewhat underhandedly, but very effectively, with the rebels. And we see Hal continue his transformation from layabout to upstanding honourable citizen. This is a transition which is not easy- for the reason that his father dies for him to take the kingship, and for the shouldering of responsibilities.
This new and gorgeous garment, majesty,
Sits not so easy on me as you think.
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
Falstaff continue to have a prominant role to play creating humorous interludes to Henry’s drama.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You
fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe.
Other book related things:
Coffee Addicted Writer question of the week: do you set a yearly reading goal, and if so do you make it a challenge?
No I don’t set a yearly goal- I tend to a cycle through different hobbies/goal- one month I will fix the garden, one month I will learn history or a language, then I will try a craft, or maybe I will have a reading focus. Most of the time reading is something I do when I feel like it. As fairly fast reader I tend to get through quite a few books without planning it. This month I do have a goal- I am going through 9 Shakespeare plays and the sonnets!
Book Beginnings on Fridays: The Opening line of Kng Henry IV- part 2
Open your ears; for which of you will stop
The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?
Rumour starts off the play in confusion for the bad guys, who are at home awaiting news of the battle at the end of part one. This sets us the confusion and disarray that seeps into a kingdom during war and rebellion. Rumour is not seen again after his brief part to play at the beginning.
Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
And dash themselves to pieces
The rebels find out support is not coming. This whole book is a bit of a downer for the rebels. But I suppose being a ‘history’ book, if they had won, they would have written history and they wouldn’t be the rebels, but the ‘rightful king’ or some such thing.