Henry IV, Part I Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Henry IV, Part I book cover
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What is being said about politics in Henry IV, Part 1?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Your astute question can be answered by considering the changing political environment of England, namely the changeover from feudalism to monarchy.  Your question also must keep in mind that this particular part of Shakespeare's histories is a "part to the whole" and paves the way nicely for the amazing monarch, Henry V, the valiant leader of the troops against the French and a king worthy of all honor.  Why?  Henry V actually IS Prince "Hal" (sometimes called "Harry") in Henry IV, Part 1.

First, let's deal with the flux of England in regards to monarchy vs. feudalism.  Feudalism, of course, was the system of lords and vassals and serfs that served as their own political entities during the middle ages.  They were communities unto themselves with their own rules and leaders.  At this time in history, England had moved away from this system and was concentrating more on honor paid to the one true king of England. 

Let's look at the "disaster" of feudalism portrayed nicely through...

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