Henry IV, Part I Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Compare Prince Hal to Hotspur in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I.

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Prince Hal and Hotspur, two young men from rival families, will face off in battle—and Prince Hal, improbably perhaps to some observers, will win. Yet Shakespeare has carefully prepared us as an audience to see the flaws beneath the surface in Hotspur and the "diamond" in Prince Hal.

Hotspur is a chivalric warrior, noble, brave, honorable, chivalrous, and masculine. But he is also hot-tempered, proud, and intolerant, as well as easily manipulated by his relatives. Hotspur, in his aristocratic self-assuredness and arrogance, has blind spots that make it difficult for him to see the world as it really is. He is one of those people who can't appreciate the value in other people who might be different. For example, early on, in his first speech, he makes fun of courtiers as effeminate, not realizing that even "vile" politicians might have something to teach him. Nevertheless, King Henry admires him for his exemplary external knightly qualities.

On the other hand, the king initially worries...

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