Preview
Preview

To Be With Or Without Honour: William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part One Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 696 words (2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Falstaff and Hotspur have opposing belief systems towards honour. Falstaff holds a practical view of honour, valuing life more then honour (Beveridge 10). Hotspur views honour as life, willing to give up his life for honour (Beveridge 10). Although both beliefs are completely different they share some similarities. Both characters present their beliefs with extreme passion and consistency. Another characteristic shared by the two beliefs of honour is the selfish motive behind them. By dissecting Falstaff’s and Hotspur’s ideas of honour many similarities and differences are presented.
Falstaff views honour empirically, as just a word (Beveridge 10). He values life more then he values honour. This theory is evident after reading Falstaff’s soliloquy at the end of Act Five, Scene One “...Can honor set to a leg? No.Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound. No. Honor hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word honor? What is that honor? Air...Honor is a mere scutcheon and so ends my catechism” (Henry IV 5.1.131-141). To Falstaff, honour is not tangible and therefore not worth his life. Falstaff compares honour to a scutcheon. A scutcheon is defined as, “A painted shield with coat of arms identifying a dead nobleman”. (Henry IV 5.1.140-141). He believes the dead have honour but they cannot bare witness to it, as it leaves behind only a symbol. In the end we see Falstaff fake his death to prove his point. To Falstaff life is what matters!
Hotspur’s idea of honour contradicts that of Falstaff’s. Hotspur would choose to die with honour then live without it. Hotspur’s idea of honour is expressed throughout the play, for example, during a conversation with Worcester, Worcester says, “There ...


... middle of paper ...


...f’s ideas of honour it’s is apparent neither characters have an ideal belief of honour.
Falstaff and Hotspur hold contradicting views of honour with both characters holding an extreme view on the concept. Falstaff’s cowardly personality is expressed through his selfish idea of Honour. He will not sacrifice his life for honour but will try and claim credit for honour that is not his. Hotspur holds an irrational view on honour, willing to sacrifice his life in the name of honour. Both Falstaff’s and Hotspur’s views were described as similar in the aspect of selfishness. The two theories are based on the satisfaction of the two individual characters, with no altruistic motive. The two characters present their views of honour compassionately throughout the play. Through analyzing Falstaff’s and Hotspur’s views of honour many similarities and differences are revealed.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1 - Great advice and guidance are expected to be given by older people. Many advice and great guidance on the other hand are given by unexpected person. Such great advice is sometimes disregarded due to who offered them. On the other hand when someone has to take up a responsibility all other things that may interfere with progress should be avoided. As it is said “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (King James Version Bible, 1 Cor....   [tags: Henry IV, Part 1 Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1090 words
(3.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Falstaff in Henry IV Part I - The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV Part I   In Henry IV Part I, Shakespeare presents a collection of traditional heroes. Hotspur’s laudable valor, King Henry’s militaristic reign, and Hal’s princely transformation echo the socially extolled values of the Elizabethean male. Molding themselves after societal standards, these flat characters contrast Sir John Falstaff’s round, spirited personality. Through Falstaff’s unorthodox behavior and flagrant disregard for cultural traditions, Shakespeare advocates one’s personal values above society’s....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays] 2514 words
(7.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Father/Son Relationships in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One Essay - Father/Son Relationships in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One   The relationship between a father and his son is an important theme in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One, as it relates to the two main characters of the play, Prince Hal and Hotspur. These two characters, considered as youths and future rulers to the reader, are exposed to father-figures whose actions will influence their actions in later years. Both characters have two such father-figures; Henry IV and Falstaff for Prince Hal, and the Earl of Northumberland and the Earl of Worcester for Hotspur....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
804 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's Henry IV Essay - Part I was written in 1597. This history play had begun to appear on the London stage around a decade before. The play gained such an enormous popularity, that Shakespeare produced a sequel to it - Henry IV - Part II . These two plays were very much amusing to the public, having many of the same characters, and are therefore usually discussed together by the critics. Shakespeare mainly tried basing most of his characters on real people, and later adapting them to their role....   [tags: Henry IV Essays] 2453 words
(7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Power in Henry IV Part One by William Skakespeare Essay - Humans from all races, morals and cultures have common traits among them. . All people are self-interested; they will never cause themselves to do something except if it is beneficial for them. They can be trustworthy at times, but they will turn selfish, hypocritical and misleading in adverse times. According to Machiavelli, there are four ways to come in to power. This power can be achieved through abilities, wealth or network, crime and lastly by inheriting the position or through the nobles....   [tags: language, bold, manipulance, plans] 872 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's Henry V Essay - Henry V was one of the greatest kings in British History. His epic rise to power was captured for posterity in the writings of William Shakespeare in the play named for the king. Although a play, the story as told by Shakespeare was remarkably close to being historically accurate (Pilkington, 1997). This play was brought to the modern world in the film Henry V, which was written, directed by, and starred Kenneth Branagh in the title role as the young king (Branagh, 1989). Through the course of the movie, Branagh painted a powerful picture of the evolution of Henry from a young and perhaps rambunctious boy into the man who would be known as a powerful and fair monarch....   [tags: William Shakespeare] 1922 words
(5.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's Henry IV Essay - Politicians and leaders use different strategies to win an election; most of them get their voters by promising the public to fix their country or turning it to a more desirable place. For example the historian Niccolo Machiavelli discusses this point by stating how to gain and keep political power through his book The Prince, He says that a ruler should forget about virtue and morality in the process of becoming a king and his focus should be the public. He also states that a ruler or a prince should be a performer and a deceiver who can regulate his actions and talks to fit any given situation....   [tags: Manipulating&Deceiving, Character Analysis]
:: 2 Works Cited
1328 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Expectations of Kingship in Henry IV by William Shakespeare - Expectations of Kingship in Henry IV by William Shakespeare Henry IV is a play that concerns itself with political power and kingship in English history. References to kingship are prevalent throughout the play, especially in the depiction of the characters. Although most of the characters in this play could teach us about kingship, I would like to focus my attention to Prince Henry. I think that this character helps us to best understand what kingship meant at this particular time in history....   [tags: Papers] 847 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on William Shakespeare Literature: Is Honor Worth Dying For? - Is Honor Worth Dying For. In Henry IV, Part One, one of the main points that we see Shakespeare trying to make is the idea of honor and the significance of it. We will be analyzing what honor meant during Shakespeare’s time, connecting and comparing it to what honor meant and represented in the play, and see if any of the characters fulfill honor according to that time. I will concentrate on four specific characters of the play; King Henry, Prince Harry, Hotspur and Falstaff. To each of these characters “honor” had a different meaning from each other, they all interpret it in a different way....   [tags: henry IV, middle ages, social status]
:: 7 Works Cited
1595 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Dying for One's Country in Asquith's The Volunteer and the Extract From Shakespeare's Henry V - Dying for One's Country in Asquith's The Volunteer and the Extract From Shakespeare's Henry V How effectively do Asquith's Poem, 'The Volunteer,' and the Extract From Shakespeare's 'Henry V' Promote the Idea That it is Heroic to fight and Die For One's Country. What Alternative View, is Offered by Wilfred Owen in 'Dulce et Decorum Est?' The Volunteer is a Pro-War poem written by Herbert Asquith. Asquith uses roman imagery to invoke a feeling of greatness and honour. Asquith begins his poem by describing the miserable, mundane life of a clerk, working in a 'city grey'....   [tags: Papers] 1353 words
(3.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]