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King Henry IV

King Henry IV by William Shakespeare
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King Henry IV, Part 1 is the second of Shakespeare’s eight Wars of the Roses history plays, with events following those of King Richard II. As the play opens, King Henry IV (formerly Henry Bolingbroke) and Henry Percy (Hotspur) argue over the disposition of prisoners from the Battle of Holmedon. The King’s attitude toward Mortimer and the Percy family prompts them to plot rebellion. In the meantime, his son Prince Hal is living the low life in the company of Sir John Falstaff. As the time of battle nears, Prince Hal joins his father and is given a high command. The play’s climax is the Battle of Shrewsbury, in which Prince Hal and Hotspur meet and fight, with Prince Hal and the forces of the King prevailing. The action continues in King Henry IV, Part 2. From the start this has been an extremely popular play both with the public and with critics.


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