Henry IV, Part I Essay - Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

Act I
1. Explain how the alternating scenes at the King’s palace in London, the Prince’s lodging at the inn, and the council chamber at Windsor castle establish the main plot and subplot of the play.

2. Describe Falstaff in terms of his physical traits and his personality.

Act II
1. Explain the comic effects of Falstaff’s verbal and physical humor.

2. Analyze the purpose of the “play extempore” in terms of what prompted it to occur, what it reveals about the relationship between Hal and Falstaff, and what serious implications it contains.

Act III
1. Describe the circumstances and conditions that weaken the rebels’ cause.

2. Explain how the meeting between Henry and Hal represents the turning point in the play in terms of Hal’s rejection of life at the inn and his acceptance of his role in the court.

Act IV
1. Describe Hotspur’s interactions with Worcester, Vernon, and Sir Walter Blunt over the course of Act IV and explain what they reveal about his nature.

2. Explain how the rebels’ cause has lost its effectiveness during Act IV.

Act V
1. Describe how Blunt, Hotspur, Worcester, Vernon, and Douglas meet their fates in Act V.

2. Explain how the events in Act V establish order to the world under the reign of King Henry.