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Author Topic: Henry IV Part 1 thread  (Read 17212 times)  Share 

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literally lauren

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Henry IV Part 1 thread
« on: January 27, 2014, 02:06:08 am »
+6
Hey all
For anyone studying Henry IV this thread is open for discussion, note taking and virtual sympathy hugs as we tackle one of the hardest texts on the reading list.
Spent countless hours on this play and ended up with a 50 so I'm looking to help others through it :)
Attached is a general-purpose guide to responding to prompts, I'll start posting sample essays and topics later in the year.
Best of luck everyone!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 12:53:20 pm by lauren9460 »

swagsxcboi

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 04:56:42 pm »
0
I'll be doing King Henry in Semester 2, but I haven't read the book yet so I should probably get onto that first  :P
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PsychoT

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 07:39:29 pm »
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Hi, seems like you went to school with my cousin if you graduated last year, the more you know. She got a 92.75 ATAR score.

Anyway, what are the notes like? Haven't really got into reading Henry yet.
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dpagan

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 08:42:57 pm »
+1
Hey,
I too am happy to help if lauren9460 is away or anything....

I also spent ages on this and have a plethora of useful notes, however I only managed a 48.  I received my statement of marks though which showed that I received full marks for Henry IV which I was quite pleased about. 

If you're wondering how to start with Henry, I would try reading the text very slowly, looking up words and if possible, having the Sparknotes version (in modern English) beside you.  Also, try purchasing York Notes for Henry IV- it is extremely useful!


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PsychoT

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 10:27:38 pm »
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Hey,
I too am happy to help if lauren9460 is away or anything....

I also spent ages on this and have a plethora of useful notes, however I only managed a 48.  I received my statement of marks though which showed that I received full marks for Henry IV which I was quite pleased about. 

If you're wondering how to start with Henry, I would try reading the text very slowly, looking up words and if possible, having the Sparknotes version (in modern English) beside you.  Also, try purchasing York Notes for Henry IV- it is extremely useful!

I love it how you say you "only" got a 48. That's a great score mate! Well done.

I'll give it a go later on. The SparkNotes idea is great as a reference, cheers!
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literally lauren

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 12:58:03 am »
+5
Rightio, good to see other schools are attempting this one too :)
I'm just finalising notes on character studies, a quote repository, and I'll post some practice essays later in the year. For now, it's best that your first dealing with the text is reading it, Sparknotes are allowed ;) There are some film versions... The Hollow Crown Series covers Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. I've only watched the second, but apparently the others are good for some background info if you're feeling like a relaxed study sesh.
There's also an episode of Shakespeare Uncovered with Jeremy Irons that deals with the play, in particular the 'play extempore' scene. Hopefully your schools will have a legal copy since all videos online are blocked in Australia by PBS, but if anyone can track it down, there is some good analysis and historical context.
Won't be long with the notes, sorry for delay :)

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 11:32:45 am »
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What other books did you guys do?
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literally lauren

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 11:57:58 am »
+1
What other books did you guys do?

For me: Year of Wonders and Henry IV for Section A, Paradise Road and Life of Galileo for Section B. I've also done Atonement, Freedom of the City, Fact of a Doorframe, and Antony and Cleopatra for Lit.

literally lauren

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 05:14:09 pm »
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Some notes on the Machiavel.

*the first week we studied this text, we had a guest speaker who discussed the idea of the Machiavel in the play. He told us Henry IV had nothing to do with redemption or the 'prodigal son' allegory. At the time I thought he was wrong, but I'm glad he spoke to us because it's critical that you understand the core of the text: Hal does not change, he only seems to. Of course, the minor degree to which he may change is up for debate, but the point is, this text is not about a wayward son coming to terms with his future and stepping up to redeem his father's love and country's respect. It is of a shrewd Machiavel who is adept and deception and an astute judge of human behaviour. I'll expand upon this in later practice essays, but for now, a crash course in Niccolo Machiavelli's political contributions to the literary world*  :)

The Machiavel

For a Machiavellian character, the ends justify the means: the sole purpose of one’s political and personal life is the procurement of power.
   Eg. Hal’s Machiavellian propensity to become king “when men least think [he] will”
Virtue is secondary to success; the appearance of virtue is far more important.

Traits of a Machiavel:
•   consummate actor (and usually hypocrite)
•   prolific, manipulative speech
•   adaptable to circumstancs
•   exploits ambition, stupidity, credulity, ignorance, fear, naivete etc.

Consider how many characters in the play could be classified as Machiavellian. Are there any who exhibit certain tendencies, but are ultimately unsuccessful due to their unwillingness to fully commit?


*For optional extra reading, Machiavelli's 'The Prince' can provide some insight into the pure ideology of political machinations, and some parts are even quotable in essays if you're confident with using external sources. Even a brief google search for quotes can help:*

“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.”
“A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.”
“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”
“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”
“…he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.”

literally lauren

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 05:46:21 pm »
+6
Since I can't post attachments apparently :p I'll just be doing text dumps
a la the Machiavellian stuff, the following is a discussion on whether Hal redeems himself in any way:

At the start of the play, it is clear that Hal’s behaviour is ill-becoming of the heir apparent.
•   “villainous company” and “base contagious clouds” “the pitch doth defile”
•   even Falstaff’s parody during the play extempore acknowledges the “company [Hal] keepst” corrupts him’
•   The gravity and regal formalities of the opening scene are followed by the colloquial visceral prose about base desires in Scene 2, so as to emphasise the frivolity of the tavern as opposed to the royal court.

Yet beneath this “loose behaviour” is a determined Machiavellian intent that implies no need for redemption.
•   “reformation to glitter,” not exactly shine, but to ‘glitter’ (seems almost artificial/ specious)
•   Hal knows the importance of timing, “at a time when men least think I will” “being wanted I will be more myself”
•   Is Hal’s treatment of his father something he must redeem? The king may be an insecure paranoid man with limited paternal love, but Hal’s actions only exacerbate his father’s mental state.
•   Hal is never wholly consumed by the tavern as Falstaff is, he gives the impression of being able to leave at any time, inferring no deep connection to the lifestyle; it is merely an indulgence for him

Nonetheless, if we judge by public perception, he is somewhat redeemed.
•   Most obvious quote being “thou hast redeemed thy lost opinion” but Henry wanted to believe from the beginning, therefore it is the perception of Hal’s enemies that is a better indicator of his image
•   According to Vernon, Hal has risen “like feathered mercury”
•   Even Hotspur acknowledges his foil as a worthy foe, and that in the end “those proud titles [Hal wins by killing Percy] they wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh” (ie. Hotspur doesn’t mind dying in battle, but that it was Hal who killed him wounds his pride worse than any tangible wound on his body)
•   It is worth questioning whether an character can truly be impartial here; perhaps they all wanted to believe in Hal’s redemption to some extent, as he brought the promise of order to such an unstable kingdom

In the eyes of a modern audience, however, we might question if he is redeemed at all.
•   Hal’s soliloquy in I.ii casts a different light on the tetralogy as a whole.
see later analysis of these lines for further elaboration
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 01:49:26 am by lauren9460 »

literally lauren

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 01:09:03 am »
+5
Shout out to Henry IV for having the highest average marks across the paper according to last year's Assessor's Report. ;D Translation: competition is tough; no pressure, Class of 2014.
BEHOLD! More notes. Below is some character-based vocab I've accumulated. It's by no means complete, so feel free to add. Some of the language is a bit excessive, so use it sparingly. Words/concepts marked with a (?) are debatable; often these are the sort of thing VCAA bases thematic prompts on, eg. 'Is Hal ever truly a wayward son?'

Hal:
feckless
protean/ mutable
Machiavellian
the promise of order
prodigal (?) – note Hal’s proclivity for manipulation
wayward (?) ^ -see above post’s discussion of the Machiavel
primogenital son
bildungsroman (to refer to the play, not Hal, but consider it in terms of his character)

Falstaff:
inveterate/entrenched in habit
epicurean/ hedonistic
bacchanalian
riotous dissipation
The Fool (?)
pragmatic
orgiastic revelry
king of tavern world (juxtaposed with ‘true kings’ Henry and Hal)
persiflage/ badinage with Hal (underlying tenderness?)

Hotspur:
valorous
gallant
chivalrous (?) – note Hotspur’s relationship with Kate
pastiche
obsolescent
exorbitant fixation on honour
impetuous foil for Hal
solipsistic
Quixotic (one of my favs. Google Don Quixote for a Spanish version of Hotspur :)
   
Henry:
mercenary
Machiavellian (though contrast with Hal, who is the better Machiavel?)
illegitimate king, obtained throne through rebellion himself
aureate rhetoric (compensation for illegitimacy?)
mad (eventually, see Part 2)


Yeah I struggled with Henry, but this is a point in itself: one of the prompts I wrote on was 'Despite it's title, Hal is the protagonist of 'Henry IV Part 1'
Feel free to suggest more, this is by no means all-encompassing
:)

swagsxcboi

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2014, 08:06:35 pm »
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Is it fine to read the spark notes version instead?
and then perhaps a few months later, reading the traditional version?
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literally lauren

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2014, 08:24:05 pm »
+2
Is it fine to read the spark notes version instead?
and then perhaps a few months later, reading the traditional version?
Yeah of course. In fact if you haven't studied much Shakespeare before I'd strongly recommend it. Read a general overview/summary, then try to go through the play with a No Fear (modern english translation) next to you. As you get more familiar with the text you'll find quotes will crop up organically in thoughts and discussions. But for now, grasping the general plot outline and character names is all you need to worry about.

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2014, 09:30:10 pm »
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i can also offer help if needed :) i did henry IV part 1 last year too!
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literally lauren

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Re: Henry IV Part 1 thread
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2014, 09:47:08 pm »
+1
^ hi-five for grammar schools, buddy  ::)