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Author Topic: King Henry IV Part I Essay if anyone could have a look at  (Read 6701 times)  Share 

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deekay

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King Henry IV Part I Essay if anyone could have a look at
« on: October 10, 2014, 11:28:35 pm »
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« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 07:25:11 pm by deekay »
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DJA

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Re: King Henry IV Part I Essay if anyone could have a look at
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2014, 09:47:33 pm »
+17
Marked Essay
Key:
Purple=Additions
Red=Comments

Topic : “Henry IV Part 1 showed us that while honour is important, it is not the only thing to consider in life. Discuss”

William Shakespeare's history play, King Henry IV Part 1, presents a thematic exploration of what determines the success of a monarch's kingship, and by extension, what is important to consider in one's way of life.This opening sentence is GOOD but seems somewhat dry. To really impress examiners maybe go for an opening with a bit more 'bang' - I might sound a little it-ish here but how about experimenting with some nice hook quotes to ground your opening in the world of the play. Some quotes for consideration: "days of villainy", "trenching wars", "hostile places".  :P Shakespeare suggests through the demise of Hotspur, the wit of Falstaff and the rise of Hal that honour can be essential if tempered with political shrewdness. Unclear as to your point here - and a few logical fallacies. 1. demise of hotspur make sense, but how does Falstaff's wit equate with 'honour being essentially if tempered with political shrewdness? Ensure that your line of argument is clear - if you make a weird connection here you could risk putting off a particularly astute examiner. Shakespeare crafts Hotspur’s death on stage, alongside Falstaff feigning death, in order to show the essential problem with seeking honour above all else ; Falstaff the 'counterfeit' lives while Hotspur, 'the theme of honour's tongue' is 'food for worms'. Good point It is ultimately Hal's adoption of the better qualities This sentence would be so much clearer if you spelt out what these 'better' qualities were. I get what you're getting at but spell it out more clearly. What are the influences that Hal adopts - Hotspur's honour? Hotspur's martial qualities? Henry's deception? Don't expect your marker to know what you mean unless you have clearly flagged what you intend. of the three influences in his life - Hotspur as his 'foil', his father Henry and Falstaff - that allow him to 'rise from the ground like feathered Mercury' as a politically savvy and honourable young prince and a worthy successor to his father's throne. The ideas are all here - and that's great. It's about refining your expression of them to ensure your argument is clear.

Hotspur sees gaining honour as the single doctrine of a man's life ; as 'Mars in swaddling clothes' his quest to obtain eternal glory and admiration becomes his hubristic flaw, which leads to his inevitable downfall as he fails to recognise the traits of kingly grace. Where is your link to the topic?? How does it relate DIRECTLY to "not the only thing to consider in life". It's also quite a long and cumbersome T.S. You could literally re-write this sentence and the rest would be fine: i.e. Hotspur's flawed and narrow-minded subscription to honour as the most important doctrine of a man's life reveals the fallacy of considering this virtue as central to existence within the play. <-- See how there is an assertion - AND how it very clearly and definitively links to the topic.Through his 'glorious deeds' on the battlefield, Harry Percy becomes the 'king of honour' in his sphere of 'bloody noses and cracked crowns'. His desire to "pluck honour" from the "moon" reveals a man driven by a desire to uphold honour at all costs. Indeed in the naturalistic imagery that compares him to the "straightest plant" in the "grove", we are positioned to admire his focus on honour and morality in a play filled with "villainy" and manipulation. <-- What I have done here is clarify by showing the first part of the topic "honour is important" before you go into discussion of how it is also a flaw. Clarify. Sharpen.Yet ultimately,Shakespeare suggests that this emblematic adherence to the classic medieval paradigm of honour is an essentially flawed and narrow minded pursuit. His Hotspur's infatuation with the 'bidding honours' on his 'crest' progressively manifests itself into a flaw of his character that causes him to lose the respect of his followers in his reckless willingness to embrace death, shouting 'die all, die merrily' his men after failing to heed the warnings of his uncle and Vernon upon their attempts to convince Hotspur to act above the nature of a ‘wasp-stung and impatient fool’. The 'ever valiant and approved Scot"s blood boils at a chance to extend his honour when he receives the message that Northumberland's troops will not make it in time to aid him in battle, as it 'lends to a greater lustre and more great opinion... a larger dare to our enterprise'. In this way,the playwright reveals Hotspur as impetuous in seeking to augment his honour at the cost of his own life; we are left unable to condone a sole focus on an honour that ultimately leads to death in its sheer blunt recklessness <-- Again I'm just clarifying your point!However Harry Percy's view of honour is not the only view that is on display within the play.  I wouldn't 'link forward' like you have done here - it seems clumsy!

In the world of the tavern, Falstaff’s pragmatic and cynical view of honour allows Hal to consider how he can negotiate the honour and politics that are essential for a successful reign. Same comments as first topic sentence. Clarify! Like seriously - cool point, but what is the relevance to "it is not the only thing to consider in life" Your actual point here from the bp focus is that Falstaff sees honour as unimportant - a mere "scutcheon". Your topic sentence needs to flag this! Despite being seen as a ‘fat rogue’, ‘lacking honesty’ and ‘good fellowship, he typifies the a view of honour that sees views it as a mere embellishment of the suffering that it wreaks upon its victims; seeing it as meaningless death that is valuable only to ‘he who hath died on Wednesday.’ I'm not sure what point you are making here - sharpen the sentence make it more clear. As in - how is "honour" a "mere embellishment of the suffering that it wreaks upon its victims"? I don't see the connection here In his catechism, he rejects honour, defining it as a ‘mere scutcheon’ that is only ‘sensible to the dead’. This unorthodox view may be considered as shameful but it is his self indulgence driven by his ‘desire to give [him] life if [he] can save so’ that is present within Falstaff, an appreciation of life allows him to preserve his own life. Upon In comparison against to the countless deaths of men who will ‘fill pits as well as better’, Falstaff’s cunning wit <--Wrong phrase to describe it pragmatic view of honourallows him to live whilst others perish in an attempt to gain honour through political disputes. This appreciation of life and recognition of ‘civil butchery’ of politicians manifests in Hal, nurturing his own holistic view of honour as he indulges in his ‘vile participation’. <--You lost me here. What is the connection here. You haven't spelled out HOW Falstaff's view of honour manifests in Hal. Quote needed. Hal’s experiences that are shared with the ‘The ‘sword and buckler Prince of Wales’ develops a trait of steadfast temperance and grace as he ‘disposes’ of the traitor Douglas by announcing he is ‘ransomless and free’. Analyse the point of this quote! Also what is the connection between this idea and Hal's more pragmatic view of honour? Moreover, Ultimately, the ‘fat kidneyed rascal’’s rejection of honour causes Hal to become a leader driven by pure ambition to conduct himself upon nobility, grace and assertiveness rather than by greed or indulgence of self. This paragraph is hampered by a lack of clear connection in ideas and a number of underdeveloped/confusing points. Some analysis is fantastic - you have to just ground it with zooming out sentences to clarify your idea in relation to the topic. Ask yourself continually - what is the relevance of what I am analysing - what is the point of it.

The ‘future King of England’s’ transformation into a balanced leader cannot be solely attributed to his newly developed view of honour, but also in his ability to demonstrate diplomatic skill. Same problem with topic sentence as before. Example of an improved one: "Hal's understanding that honour is in reality a "scutcheon" - not necessarily useful in a pragmatic sense - is partnered with his consideration of the other facets of a good leader, this being an embodiment of strong diplomatic skill" <-- See how all of your ideas are now grounded in a clear assertion that links to the topic? From the onset the Prince, who indulges in such ‘vulgar company’ admits that he has been a ‘truant to chivalry’  with his brow stained with ‘riot and dishonour’. However, Hal’s actions of decadence is arerevealed to be a facade that allows him to dichotomise his current ‘shadow of succession’ and his intent on ‘imitat[ing] the sun’ to become a radiant benevolent ruler. In the play’s only verse soliloquy in Act I Scene II, the prince’s desire to throw off his ‘loose behaviour’ and ‘pay the debt [he] never promised’ further encapsulates the foreshadowing of his impending transformation ‘redeeming time when men think least I [Hal] will’. His manipulation and tolerance of the ‘abominable misleader of youth’ displays a Machiavellian quality by using him as a medium into the sphere of commoners. Through this he attains a chameleonic trait that allows him to ‘drink with any tinker in his own language.’  Vernon’s observation that it’s ‘as if he mastered there a double spirit of teaching and of learning instantly’ accurately displays Hal not as a ‘nimble footed mad cap’ but as a future ruler who will be able to successfully adapt to the lower and higher ranks of society. I feel that these very accurate and pertinent ideas about Hal just aren't connected enough to the topic premise

It is also Hal’s ability to deceive others that allows him to exercise and practise diplomacy and nobility that will prove a valuable skill when he ascends to the throne clothed in ‘sun-like majesty’. Same problem with topic sentence as before.In a place where the noble class is rarely seen, the Boar’s Head Tavern, Hal readily displays this malleable nature. Despite his illusive facade to the ‘good lads of Eastcheap’ who are his ‘sworn brothers’, he displays an ulterior motive that allows him to later ‘command all the good lads of Eastcheap’. By lowering himself into the sphere of commoners, he indulges and in effect tempers the nobility and diplomacy that is essential to a successful ruler by manipulating the characters of the tavern from beneath his feigned ‘[truancy] to chivalry’. Hal exercises this power and tyranny of a king, bullying Francis and displaying the ability to conquer and intimidate, even robbing his ‘reverend Vice’ Falstaff. His ability to switch between tavern-speak and the language of the upper class slowly reveal his prowess in kingship through the ‘play extempore’ with Falstaff. His eloquence is on display as he seamlessly speaks the narrative tongue of the royal court as he easily adopts the role of King, foreshadowing his later ‘angelic’ reformation ‘glittering o’er [his] fault’. His ability to transverse between the two societal spheres extends to Shakespeare’s notion of a masked and manipulated kingship that assists in the reign of a monarch. Similarly - great analysis of what you have brought up about Hal - I just feel uncomfortable as a marker as it seems as if you have gone off on a tangent just analysing the hell out of a character. You need to refer back to the topic to ground your analysis as to the relevant point you are making. For instance - here you are suggesting that Hal's deception is crucial to his leadership skill - good point, but you need to flag how this the "other thing to consider in life" by making it clear in your T.S. and then throughout your body para by linking back to this main idea. Also you need to have analysed earlier how Hal demonstrates honour if this is the argument you will follow which I feel you haven't explicated earlier in any large way.

Ultimately, it is through Hal’s ability to not only obtain honour on ‘Percy’s head’ to win respect, but also to adopt the roles of a shrewd politician and a man of compassion that enables him to reform successfully and imitate the sun in his kingship. Whilst Hotspur embodies the importance of respect, his self subjugation to the medieval code of honour becomes his downfall with his deficiency to demonstrate kingly grace. Furthermore, Hal’s exposure to Falstaff’s ridicule and unorthodox view of honour drives Hal to appreciate life but also mould his ability to demonstrate necessary compassion. Shakespeare’s allowance for Hal to break the barrier between the world of the royal court and the tavern, enables the Prince to amalgamate the importance of honour but also appreciate the virtue of grace, occasionally renouncing honour that allow him to be more than ‘heir apparent.’ This conclusion is beautiful! loved it! Put this clarity into all your body paragraphs and you are set seriously.

Mark: 8/10 (Might be harsher than it is, simply given the quality of the analysis - but as always imo!)

COMMENTS:
Okay to recap:
Topic sentences - need to do 2 things to be effective every time:
1. Link to the topic in some way (break the topic open - show how your ideas relate)
2. Make an assertion - don't make a statement. Statement = "In this world there are characters who are honourable". Assertion = "In this world, those who are honourable reveal...blah blah". In other words, its more complex
-Also something to think about - in a thematic question I'd personally caution about using character based topic sentences (which you've done throughout here). Why not try and use a more thematic/concern/general topic sentences that argues an idea/point which you then elucidate in the paragraph by bringing in supporting characters.
Topic sentences are your achilles heel - and they undermine your great analysis! Seriously this is a good thing because you can easily fix it - if you flag what the relevance of your ideas are through your topic sentence, your essay will improve significantly!

-An marker is going to read your intro and go through your topic sentences - if he/she cannot establish your clear line of argument and what your main ideas are IN RELATION to the topic, you are already starting out on the back foot.
-Purely an idea as well - perhaps the facade of honour is more important than honour itself could be a cool line of argument and is personally how I would tackle the question!  :)

But please - topic, topic, topic - no matter how beautiful your analysis is, if you haven't grounded its relevance in the given prompt, an examiner cannot give you the marks its as simple as that.

Good luck! Hope this helped
« Last Edit: October 11, 2014, 09:52:14 pm by DJALogical »
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deekay

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Re: King Henry IV Part I Essay if anyone could have a look at
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2014, 10:31:04 pm »
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Thank you DJALogical for your in depth assessment, my school teacher barely wrote a thing on it when I submitted it to her.

She gave it a 9.5/10 but seeing an 8/10 helps me refine it much further.

Could you please elaborate on asserting vs. making a statement.

I see the cohesion it creates but not sure how to emulate it.
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psyxwar

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Re: King Henry IV Part I Essay if anyone could have a look at
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2014, 10:45:13 pm »
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DJA

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Re: King Henry IV Part I Essay if anyone could have a look at
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2014, 09:01:54 am »
+10
So essentially with topic sentences:
When you assert something, you take a theme/concern/character idea and draw a conclusion from it that is a wider implication from your original piece of evidence.

To do this effectively, use those magic analysis words!  :)
Magic Analysis Words: reveals, suggests, highlights, conveys etc

Example of a statement that adds little to your argument
Hotspur is a flawed character due to his medieval conception of honour.

Example of an assertion that adds to your argument
Hotspur’s close-minded focus on a medieval conception of honour reveals the danger of solely relying on this virtue on the public stage of “villainy”.

3 things to take note of in an assertion:
1. Character insight or main idea to be talked about in paragraph
2. Magic Word!!
3. Larger scale idea – this is where you link to the topic and show how your idea breaks apart the topic focus

Also note that often it is better to use idea based topic sentences rather than character based ones. Here is an example of an idea based T.S.
While cunning and political shrewdness are necessary parts of leadership, Shakespeare suggests that in embodying only these facets in governance, such individuals are unable to rule as effectively as those who can balance these qualities with other values.

-You can see the topic sentence still does the three essential things. Just in a slightly different way.

Hope this helps!
2014 - English (50, Premier's Award)| Music Performance (50, Premier's Award) | Literature (46~47) | Biology (47) | Chemistry (41) |  MUEP Chemistry (+4.5)  ATAR: 99.70

Griffith University Gold Coast Queensland
2015 - 2017 Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSc)
2017 - 2021 Doctor of Medicine (MD)

DJA's Guide to Language Analysis (Section C)
DJA's guide on the topic of English Expression (Text response)