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Lecture 14

Lecture 14 Notes

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Rebecca Wiseman

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Lecture 14
Introduction to 2 Henry IV
Hal’s New Challenge
Disease and rebellion
Act 1
Read intro for 2 Henry IV
Humours moods, whims
o Whims, antics of John Falstaff
Early Modern notion of 4 humours forces inside the body regulated moods
linked to health, well-being
Lord Chamberlain’s Men acting company
o Play printed after it was acted out
Why are there two parts of this play?
o Because there was too much material
o Because the first play was so popular and there was demand for it
More common characters for comic relief they speak in prose, not poetry
o Poetry for court
o Prose for tavern
Prose is more difficult because there are more pop culture references
o Comedic play more interested in roles of low-class
Hal still has tavern world, but he doesn’t go as much he’s more towards the court now
o Lots of time and space in the tavern, but it’s cut off from Hal
o He’s proven to be a good son, but can he be a good ruler?
Chivalrous on battlefield, but what about on the court?
That’s the new challenge but there’s still the tavern psychomachia internal
struggle of who he’s going to be he calls Falstaff his “ill angel” reference to
angel/devil on the shoulders
King Henry as figure of law and order but don’t forget he used to be Bolingbroke he
used to be rebellious and wild which is why he admired Hotspur
King as model of reform
Falstaff as an impediment to Hal’s better nature Hal moves away from him throughout
the story a predicted rejection
Time needs passage of time for his transformation
o Emphasis on time time stops in the tavern outside spheres of war
o Official time in the court
o Here there’s a sense that time is running out time as pressing them forward
o Less separation between tavern and the rest of the world
He becomes crowned Henry V rather smoothly, no civil disorder relative for
Elizabethan audience they were anxious about lack of Elizabeth’s heir
o In the play, there’s anxiety about Hal’s potential ruling
o Sense of decay, sickly, going downhill, deteriorating
Anxiety in play about England’s health, peace, order
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