Main Article Content
In that apparently touching rapprochement scene (3.2) between King Henry IV and Hal in 1 Henry IV, Henry cries as he levels accusations of betrayal against his estranged son. However, Shakespeare indirectly calls into question the authenticity of emotion in Henry’s weeping. For example, just previously when Falstaff plays the role of King Henry in the play within the play, he calls for wine to make his eyes red so that it will appear as though he has been crying. Moreover, shortly after the actual reconciliation scene, Hotspur remarks that upon Henry’s return from banishment, Henry ‘Crie[d] out upon abuses, seem[ed] to weep over his country’s wrongs; and by this face, this seeming brow of justice did he win/ The hearts of all that he did angle for’ (4.3.83-86). Hotspur clearly feels that Henry’s tears in this instance were a ploy to galvanize the support of others whom he hopes to control. Thus, Henry’s tears in the rapprochement scene are bracketed before and after by references to Henry’s falsifying his emotions. Likewise, there are many subtle indicators in 2 Henry IV that Hal generates crocodile tears in 4.5 in order to mollify his father, who has awoken to discover that Hal has literally taken possession of the crown. And it is significant that in both reconciliation scenes the two royals discuss means of successfully manipulating public and political opinion through appearances and subterfuge. Hal’s use of references to tears as a political ploy continues into Henry V in his confrontation of the conspirators and before Agincourt.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Andrews, Meghan C. ‘Gender, Genre, and Elizabeth's Princely Surrogates in Henry IV and Henry V. Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Spring 2014): 375-399.
Bulman, James C. ‘Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2.’ In Cambridge, 158-176.
Calderwood, James L. Metadrama in Shakespeare’s Henriad. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1979.
The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s History Plays. Ed. Michael Hattaway. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Findlay, Alison. New Directions: The Madcap and Politic Prince of Wales: Ceremony and Courtly Performance in Henry IV. In ‘1 Henry IV’: A Critical Guide. Ed. Stephen Longstaffe. London: Continuum, 2011: 86-98.
Garber, Marjorie. Shakespeare After All. New York: Anchor, 2005.
Greenblatt. Stephen. Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England. Berkeley: U of Cal P, 1988.
Hattaway, Michael. ‘The Shakespearean History Play.’ In Cambridge, 3-24.
Hawkins Sherman. ‘Structural Pattern in Shakespeare's Histories.’ Studies in Philology 88 (1991): 16-45.
Kahn, Coppelia. Man's Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.
Jenkins, Harold. ‘The Structural Problem in Henry the Fourth.’ In McMullan.: 100-113.
McMullan Gordon, ed. 1 Henry IV. New York: Norton, 2003.
Ornstein, Robert. A Kingdom for a Stage: The Achievement of Shakespeare’s History Plays. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972.
Parvini, Neema. Shakespeare's History Plays: Rethinking Historicism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3366/j.ctt1wf4c98.12
Pierce, Robert B. Shakespeare’s History Plays: The Family and the State. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1971.
Rackin, Phyllis. Stages of History: Shakespeare's English Chronicles. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990.
Saccio, Peter. Shakespeare’s English Kings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977.
Steggle, Matthew. Laughing and Weeping in Early Modern Theatres. London and NY: Routledge, [2007 Ashgate]: 2016 Routledge.
Harold Toliver, ‘Workable Fictions in the Henry IV Plays,’ University of Toronto Quarterly, 53.1 (1983): 53-72.
Traversi, Derek. Shakespeare from Richard II to Henry V. Stanford: Stanford U Press, 1957.
Yachnin, Paul. ‘History, Theatricality, and the ‘Structural Problem’ in the Henry IV Plays.’ In McMullan, 114-128.