The plot encompasses rebellion and the struggle for power. Prince Hal and Falstaff join the fighting and Hal kills the rebel Hotspur. Falstaff feigns death saying, "The better part of valour is discretion; in the which better part, I have saved my life.". The play concludes with King Henry and Hal leaving for Wales to confront rebels. At the same time, Prince John of Lancaster, Hal's younger brother, heads toward York to do battle with rebel forces led by the Earl of Northumberland (Hotspur's father).
Information provided about the play
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era). A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 ( a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of Williamís plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.
Date Henry IV (Part1) was first performed
It is believed that Henry IV (Part1) was first performed between 1597 and 1598. In the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and Henry IV (Part1) would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.
Date first printed
It is believed that the script was first printed in 1597. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.
The settings for Henry IV (Part1)
The settings are London, Rochester, and York in England
Theme of Henry IV (Part1)
The play is categorised as a History
Number of words
The number of words in the script, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 26,158.
Famous Quotes / Quotations
These quotes are amongst Shakespeare's most famous including 'The better part of valour is discretion'. Details of this famous quote follows, complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that this quotation can be found in. Please click here for the full text of the script of the play.
"He will give the devil his due". Henry IV (Part1) (Act I, Scene II).
"The better part of valour is discretion". Henry IV (Part1) (Act V, Scene IV)
Henry IV (Part1) was based on real people and events taken from English history. The characters are from the royal Houses of Lancaster and York.
House of Lancaster
Henry IV ("Bolingbroke," son of the Duke of Lancaster), 1399-1413.
Henry V (son of Henry IV), 1413-1422.
Henry VI (son of Henry V, deposed), 1422-1471.
House of York:
Edward IV (son of duke of York), 1461-1483.
Edward V (son of Edward IV), 1483.
Richard III ("Crookback," brother of Edward IV) 1483-1485.
We recommend the following link to access facts, information, a biography and timeline of
King Henry IV
William Shakespeare's Main Source
The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland by Raphael Holinshed
The drama has inspired other works such as the Falstaff Opera by Verdi centering on the Comic Shakespeare Character in this play
The Cast and Characters
Click the link to access a list of all the cast and characters of Henry IV (Part1).