Power In Henry Iv Part One By William Skakespeare

1081 words - 5 pages

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. In Shakespeare’s play, Henry IV part 1, portrays a similar concept. Hal and Hotspur are both ambitious and ravenous for honor. Hal is trying to regain his position in society by defeating Hotspur. Although Hotspur starts with a better reputation, Hal is more superior in communicating with people because he is sneaky, manipulative and conservative about his plans. On the other hand, Hotspur’s bold and impulsive language depicts a fierce impression which scares his family and friends away.
Hotspur and Hal are greedy and determined to reach the throne, but whereas Hotspur makes his boldness and bitterness open to everyone, Hal attempts to appear his appearance as foolish and immature until he gets the chance to be the king. Furthermore, Hotspur is indiscreet about the rebellious act, which causes the king to know about the rebellion. First, Hotspur is a hot-tempered man; who cannot control his anger or words, this leads to many people leaving his side not because they are afraid of the king but because of his bad attitude towards them. When Glendower meets Hotspur for the first time, he explains to him how he can demand evil spirits, Hotspur immediately questions his powers and asks him to “tell the truth” and by telling the truth he would “shame the devil” (3.1.56). Hotspur swears that “If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither…I have power to shame him hence” (3.1.57-58). Although his tone is rude and aggressive, Hotspur is speaking the truth; Glendower probably does not have any powers. However, Glendower might have had great tactics in battle that Hotspur has decided to ignore. Glendower is smart enough to notice that Hotspur’s bold and daring communication does not lead to victory. Therefore it seems somewhat irresponsible of Hotspur to argue with Glendower, even though he knows he knows that he needs a lot of men on his side to win this battle. On the other hand, Harry is equally bold and brave like Hotspur, yet he is devious and much smarter in connecting with people as he wears a façade of politeness and monarchical. For instance, just after Falstaff and the other people in the tavern leave, Hal claims” I know you all” to declare his plan to the reader. He explains how he will “imitate the sun” where he allows the clouds “to smother up his beauty” (1.2.165-169). Thus Hal explains, “When they seldom come, they wished for come” (1.2.176-177). Hal is then attempting to hide his true intentions as to fool everyone for the time being....

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