A civil rebellion brews, a king struggles to maintain power, and a young price slums in the taverns in one of Shakespeare’s greatest history plays. As Henry IV, Part 1 opens, the newly crowned King Henry finds his authority immediately challenged by the Percy family. Though the Percy rebellion gathers force, young Prince Hal, the prodigal son, is oblivious to the growing crisis. Hal prefers to spend his days drinking, joking, and playing pranks with Falstaff, his fat, jovial sidekick and mentor. After the king reprimands Hal for his unprincely behavior, Hal must prove himself in battle against the rebels who threaten his father’s throne. The scene shifts from the court and the seedy London taverns to the battlefield, where Hal meets his match in the valiant rebel Hotspur, who is everything Hal is not. From the final swordfight between these two young rivals, to the conflicting father figures of King Henry and Falstaff, to the competing realms of regal court and wild tavern, Henry IV, Part 1 explores the clashes between people and worlds—in which only one side can win.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
King Henry the Fourth.
Henry, Prince of Wales, son to the King.
Prince John of Lancaster, son to the King.
Earl of Westmoreland.
Sir Walter Blunt.
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester.
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland.
Henry Percy, known as Hotspur, his son .
Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.