Henry IV, Part I Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What characteristics of Hotspur would make him a better leader/king than Hal?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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On the surface, it could easily appear that Hotspur has more of the attributes of a good king than Henry. After all, Hal seems to spend his time hanging around inns drinking with unreliable party animals like Falstaff who only want to have a good time. That certainly seems like irresponsible behavior in a person who will have a country to rule.

Also, when it comes to sheer knightly courage and rigid integrity, Hotspur seems to have it over Hal. He despises fawning courtiers and lives by rugged warrior values. His fearlessness and uncompromising values make him appear a good leader.

Hal, however, is getting better training in leadership because he is learning about the common people through interacting with them. He is developing his people skills and coming to understand what people are like when they are not putting up front for him because he is a prince. He learns to...

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