• Henry IV, Part 2 is a history play by
William Shakespeare, believed written
between 1596 and 1599. It is the third
part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard
II and Henry IV, Part 1 and succeeded by
• Shakespeare's primary source for Henry
IV, Part 2, as for most of his chronicle
histories, was Raphael Holinshed's
Chronicles; the publication of the second
edition in 1587 provides a clue to the
date for the play.
• Edward Hall's The Union of the Two
Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York
appears also to have been consulted,
and scholars have also supposed
Shakespeare familiar with Samuel
Daniel's poem on the civil wars.
• The events of Henry IV, Part 2 take
place in the early 1400s, about
two centuries before
Shakespeare's own time.
• The play picks up where Henry
IV, Part One left off. Its focus is on
Prince Hal's journey toward
kingship, and his ultimate
rejection of Falstaff.
• The play mixes history and
comedy, moving from "high"
scenes of kings and battles to
"low" scenes of city taverns and
THE KING’S COURT
• King Henry IV
• Prince Hal – later King Henry V
• Prince John of Lancaster – Henry's
• Duke of Gloucester – Henry's son
• Duke of Clarence – Henry's son
• Earl of Warwick
• Earl of Surrey
• Earl of Westmorland
• Sir John Blunt
• Archbishop of York
• Lord Bardolf
• Lord Mowbray – Earl Marshal
• Lord Hastings
• Sir John Coleville
• Earl of Northumberland
• Lady Northumberland –
• Lady Percy – widow of Henry
• Sir John Falstaff
• Mistress Quickly – hostess of the
• Doll Tearsheet – prostitute
• Ralph Mouldy
• Simon Shadow
• Thomas Wart
• Francis Feeble
• Peter Bullcalf
• Robert Shallow – country justice
• Silence – country justice
• Davy – Shallow's servant
• Snare – sergeant
• Fang – sergeant
• Falstaff is still drinking and engaging
in petty criminality in the London
• He is followed by a new character, a
young page whom Prince Hal has
assigned him as a joke.
• When news of a second rebellion
arrives, Falstaff joins the army again,
and goes to the country to raise
• There he encounters Mouldy,
Bullcalf, Feeble, Shadow and Wart, a
band of rustic yokels who are to be
conscripted into the loyalist army,
with two of whom, Mouldy and
Bullcalf, bribing their way out.
• In the other storyline, Hal remains an
acquaintance of London lowlife and
seems unsuited to kingship. His
father, King Henry IV, has apparently
forgotten his reconciliation with his son
in Henry IV, Part One, and is again
disappointed in the young prince.
• Another rebellion is launched against
Henry IV, but this time it is defeated, not
by a battle, but by the duplicitous
political machinations of Hal's
brother, Prince John.
• King Henry then sickens and appears to
die. Hal, seeing this, believes he is King
and exits with the crown. King
Henry, awakening, is
devastated, thinking Hal cares only
about becoming King. Hal convinces him
otherwise and the old king subsequently
• The two storylines meet in the
final scene, in which
Falstaff, having learned that Hal is
now King, travels to London in
expectation of great rewards.
• But Hal rejects him, saying that he
has now changed, and can no
longer associate with such people.
• The London lowlifes, expecting a
paradise of thieves under Hal's
governance, are instead purged
and imprisoned by the authorities.
• Shakespeare focuses on the
anxieties surrounding succession
and the transfer of power between
father and son. For Henry IV,
kingship has been an exhausting and
• Because Henry usurped the crown
in Richard II, he spends most of his
reign defending his position and
worrying about what will happen
when his unruly son, Hal, takes over.
• When Hal replaces his father and
becomes Henry V, his position is
more legitimate because he's
inherited the throne by lineal
succession. At the same time, Hal
must prove that, despite his wild
youth, he's fit to rule the country.
• Even though Prince Hal saved his father's
life at the battle of Shrewsbury in Henry
IV Part 1, the troubled relationship
between the king and his heir continues
to parallel the civil rebellion in England.
It also threatens the possibility of
reestablishing any kind of political unity
• As King Henry IV nears his death, he
accuses Prince Hal of wanting him dead.
Hal's success as a king seems contingent
upon his making amends with his father
and rejecting his surrogate father-
• Hal's banishment of Falstaff and his
acceptance of the Lord Chief Justice as a
new "father" confirm his "reformation"
from a wayward son to a monarch who
will uphold civil order.
• "He hath eaten me out of house and
home". (Act II, Scene I).
• "Uneasy lies the head that wears a
crown". (Act III, Scene I).
• "A man can die but once". (Act
III, Scene II).
• "We have heard the chimes at
midnight". (Act III, Scene II)
• From Rumour's tongues
They bring smooth comforts
false, worse than true wrongs.
• Past, and to come, seem best; things
present, worst. (Act I, Scene III)
• Let the end try the man. (Act
II, Scene II)
• There have been only a few
attempts to film Henry VI Part 2:
• The British Broadcasting System
(BBC) has filmed it three
times, first as part of An Age Of
Kings series (1960)
• The second time was in 1979 as
part of the Complete Works of
William Shakespeare [VIDEO]
• And in 2012 as part of the BBC
series The Hollow Crown. [VIDEO]
• Parts of it were also adapted in
Orson Welles 1966 film Chimes at
A NUTSY THE SQUIRREL PRODUCTION
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