Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Henry IV, Act III, scene 1, lines 1-197 and Instructions

Please post your comments for Scene 1, lines 1-197 of Act 3 of Henry IV, Part 1 here.

Instructions for Act 3 comments:

Rebels:
Comment on the last half of Scene 1 (lines 198-276) or Scene 2.
Comment on Scene 3.

Courtiers:
Comment on the first half of Scene 1 (lines 1-197).
Comment on Scene 3.

Pub Crawlers:
Comment on the first half of Scene 1 (lines 1-197).
Comment on the last half of Scene 1 (lines 198-276) or Scene 2.

Please complete your first 2 comments by Friday, September 22.

All Groups:
Put your third comment on Mr. Kleeman's class blog (http://www.lkleeman.blogspot.com/). You will be responding to one of his students’ comments. Please complete your third comment by Tuesday, September 26.

Blog comment prompts:
1. Summarize the action of the scene.
2. Comment in one sentence on what you think is the significance of this scene. What would the play be like without it?
3. Ask questions about the scene. Has anything in the scene caused you confusion? Ask one of the characters in the scene a question—or ask me a question.
4. Quote lines from the scene that you enjoyed and comment on them.
5. Describe your reactions to a character, action, or idea you confronted in the scene.
6. Talk about the relationships characters have to one another, quoting specific words or phrases to give evidence for your opinion.
7. Pretend you are an actor playing one of the characters in the scene. Get inside that character’s mind. Tell how the character feels about herself, about other characters, about the situation of the scene.
8. Trace a set of images. Do you notice certain images—like night or moon or food or fat—coming up time and time again? Produce a list of citations—every time that your word appears. Then look for patterns. Are the images associated with certain people or places or events? Discuss the impact of your image on the play.
9. Discuss the motifs of robbery and rebellion, or honor and courage, or wholeness (both individual and national) in each “world” of the play.
10. Discuss Hal’s search for role models; how do his companions educate him about his country? How do the three worlds of the play—Court, Rebel, Tavern—converge in him?

23 Comments:

Blogger JonathanH said...

5. The character of Hotspur is consistently chauvinistic against women, specifically his wife Kate, throughout the entire play. The first time we see this unsavory behavior is in Act 2, Scene 3. Hotspur generally mistreats his wife, doesn’t give her the amount of respect she deserves and even declares, to her face, that he does not love her: “Love, I love thee not. / I care not for thee, Kate. This is no world / To play with mammets and to tilt with lips” (2.iii.95-97). These harsh actions continue in Act 3, Scene 1. When Glendower tells Hotspur in line 96 that he will bring Hotspur’s wife to Hotspur and Mortimer in a short while, Hotspur does not even seem to react. Instead, he immediately goes back to his petty argument about territorial claims. At the end of the scene, Hotspur wishes to leave Kate without so much as a goodbye: “Here come our wives, and let us take our leave” (3.i.197). Hotspur is the typical valiant soldier; he is brave, strong, firm in his beliefs, and is even reminiscent of the English knights of old. But where is the chivalry stressed in the tales, and what has happened to the code of honor. One of the most important virtues to a knight was to serve, protect, and be loyal to the women they served. How is it that Hotspur does not even respect his own wife and yet men around the country still view him as they would a chivalrous knight? Is Hotspur’s character unintentionally written this way, or is Shakespeare (who was quite the womanizer) merely writing a social commentary on the way English subjects’ morals and standards have lowered since the days of knights and honor?

9:48 PM  
Blogger The Katie S. said...

3. The basics of this first portion of the scene do not confuse me. However, one of Hotspur's longer statements about Mortimer's father seems dreadfully caught up in images which I have difficulty following: "O, he is as tedious/ As a tired horse, a railing wife/ Worse than a smoky house. I had rather live/ With cheese and garlic in a windmill, far,/ Than feed on cates and have him talk to me/ In any summer house in Christendom" (3.1.164-169). Yes, Hotspur criticizes Mortimer's father (Who is also named Mortimer, correct?) and until this Scene, he isn't mentioned very much. However, what bothers me more than why Hotspur demeans Mortimer's father is what does cheese, garlic and a windmill have to do with anything? I realize that both cheese and garlic may possess very pungent odors, so is Hotspur commenting on how Mortimer smells? Are there references to cheese and garlic with negative connotations which I am unaware of? Not to mention, what have windmills to do with smell? I know windmills are used to grind grain back in the day, but still find myself unable to quite grasp how even these three things go together. All of them appear like three random objects Hotspur believes unsavory and therefore, insults Mortimer by mentioning them. What am I missing?

8:36 AM  
Blogger Matt L said...

6. The relationship between Glendower and Hotspur is riddled with ill-content and disrespect resembling relations between two worst enemies rather than allies. Both are hot headed leaders unwilling to be led. Glendower tries to insert dominace over Hotspur, by recounting the devilish tale of his birth. Glendower says, "The heavens were all on fire" and "I say the earth did shake when I was born." In response, Hotspur challenges Glendower rather than submit when he says, "the earth waaas not of my mind, / If you suppose as fearing you it shook ." Glendower and Hotspur cannot coexist. They are too strong of characters. However the opposing forces of King Henry and Hal seem to be weak forces. Henry feels he needs Hal to help defeat the rebels. One gets the sense that Hotspur and Glendower would individually try to slay Goliath if it was necessary. King Henry and Hal, although good nobelmen, lack the same verdasity. Both sides would benefit if King Henry had Hotspur to lead for him. And King Henry's foil, Glendower, would benefit from having Hal, (Hotspur's foil and someone who is not all-conrolling and uncontrollable) as his ally. The conflict between Glendower and Hotspur should allow the weaker Henry and Hal to disrupt the rebellion.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Jesse! said...

6. The highlight of this scene was Hotpsur and Glendower’s relationship which clearly clashes because they are both too strong in personal beliefs. As Hotspur continually defies Gledower’s belief in magic and supernatural occurrences, he clearly roots from logic and reason. While Glendower proclaims that the great shaking of the earth as a sign of greatness, Hotspur dismisses signs and omens because he believes that glory and honor stems from free-will.
Worcester also remarks to Hotspur: “You must needs learn lord, to amend his fault./ Though sometimes it show greatness, courage, blood-/ And that’s the dearest grace it renders you-/Yet often times it doth present harsh rage.” (lines 185-189) As Hal is able to tolerate Falstaff through comedic insults, Hotspur is hateful and hostile toward Glendower, proving that he is unable to relate to people who are different from him. This contrast elevates Hal’s traits as a leader and that he truly is fit for the throne. Hal is “destined” to become king, but because Hotspur denies outside interference (such as Glendower’s supernatural stories) he defies inheritance by carving his own bloody path to glory.

1:13 PM  
Blogger julie s said...

5. The act opens with a discussion between Hotspur, Mortimer, Glendower, and Worcester (even though he doesn't say much at all). They're discussing plans for rebellion, but the discussion takes a detour when Hotspur and Glendower have a sort of argument. The argument is kind of one sided though, because it's really Hotspur insulting Glendower most of the time. This event caught my attention because it reveals a lot about Hotspur.

"Glendower: Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head against my power... I sent him bootless home and weather-beaten back.

"Hotspur: Home without boots, and in foul weather too! How 'scapes he agues, in the devil's name?" (lines 61-66).

Here, Glendower is bragging (as he does quite often throughout this exchange) and Hotspur outwardly mocks him. His use of "bootless" is a play on the word because Glendower's use of it meant unsuccessful (as I learned from my handy footnotes), and he meant it as literally without shoes. Glendower doesn't respod directly to this, but he quickly changes the subject of conversation. I imagine Glendower feeling angry and embarassed.

Hotspur also makes fun of Glendower's Welsch heritage, "I think there's no man speaks better Welsh," (line 48), and again, "Let me not understand you, then; speak it in Welsh," (line 115). At first reading these lines the reader wouldn't think that they were offensive, but in the time period that Henry IV was king, Welsh was considered a barbaric language and it was shameful for a man to speak it. Glendower responds, "I can speak English, lord, as well as you, for I was trained up in the English court," (lines 116-117). Even though Glendower is as proper and wel brought up as Hotspur and the others, Hotspur still brings up his heritage in a negative manner, lowering him in status compared to the others.

I think this reveals how petty that Hotspur can be. Later in the scene he even argues with the others over a tiny fraction of land, "in the way pf bargain, mark you me, I'll cavill on the ninth part of a hair," (lines 134-135). He'll pick an argument over anything and is as stubborn as can be. It's also clear that his targets are always those below him, in society and his mind; evidence of this being the way he treats his wife and Glendower, both of which are below him in society's standards.

I'm interested in seeing how Hotspur continues to treat those around him, and especially interested in seeing if this is something that might get him in some sort of trouble eventually.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Emma V said...

2) Because of Hotspur’s untamable arrogance, this scene could reveal the problem that ultimately will be the downfall of the rebels trying to overthrow King Henry, as well as his own.

Westmorland and Worcester cannot convince Hotspur to restrain his obvious defiance of authority and juvenile arrogance. When the rebels actually go in to battle to overthrow the King, Hotspur could prove to be a lose cannon and detrimental to the success of the rebels.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Megan M said...

5. I very much enjoyed the battle between Hotspur and Glendower about whether or not the earth and heavens reacted fearfully to Glendower’s birth. Glendower’s insistence that “the frame and huge foundation of the earth/Shaked like a coward” (lines 16-17) relates to the belief during Shakespeare’s time that nature reflects important events for humans, such as the unnatural behavior in Macbeth after he kills the king. Glendower’s hubris and sense of self-importance that he demonstrates in the beginning of this scene suggest his being a foil to Hotspur; both feel the need to outshine the other, and while their accomplishments are considerable, neither is as great as he sees himself. Hotspur’s refusal to acknowledge Glendower’s claim as a possibility emphasizes his insecurity; he appears confident on the outside, but is not strongly convinced of his worth to let Glendower boast superiority.

8:35 PM  
Blogger  said...

2. The way Hotspur reveals his character is very important in this scene. When he, Lord Mortimer and Owen Glendower are talking, Hotspur mocks Glendower's supposed sorcerous powers and offends a potential ally of his father. Like his name suggests, Hotspur is young, impulsive and arrogant and the way he acts with Glendower in this scene foreshadows a more significant event involving Hotspur's "hot-headed" attitude. An important flaw of Hotspur is revealed, and I'm guessing it will have something to do with his later downfall.

8:47 PM  
Blogger DanaitA said...

2) The dividing up of the land in this scene will be significant in the failure of deposing Henry IV.

During this scene Moritmer, Glendower, Worcester and Hot spur are dividing the land amongst themselves, BEFORE THEY HAVE EVEN GONE INTO BATTLE! I don't know if this seems strange to anyone else, but usually dividing up land is something done after the battle is won. I think this plays as a foreshadow to the loss of the battle and Hal becoming the king. This scene reminded me of the saying "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" (may not be totally correct). They have not even gone into battle and have already divided the land. I believe this acts as a foreshadow to there inevitable loss, they were to confident that they were going to win, that they lost.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Nathan H said...

6. I find it amusing how disrespectful Glendower and Hotspur are to each other. Each of them is extremely prideful and obvious believes that he is better than the other. Glendower: “I say the earth did shake when I was born.”
Hotspur: “And I say the earth was not of my mind, If you suppose as fearing you it shook.”
What I find ironic is that if they each believe they are so great, why are seeking help from each other? Obviously Hotspur and Glendower must hold one another in high regard. In fact, Mortimer even says later to Hotspur, “Shall I tell you, cousin? He holds your temper in a high respect...” It will be interesting to see if both of the hotheads will have the patience to hold their alliance together and how they manage to do so.

10:42 PM  
Blogger DanaitA said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Becca S said...

In response to Danait A.'s post:

"The dividing up of the land in this scene will be significant in the failure of deposing Henry IV."

I agree that the Rebels reveal extreme confidence as they prematurely divide the land they've yet to win in battle. At the very beginning of the scene Mortimer blatantly states this: "These promises are fair, the parties sure, / And our induction full of prosperous hope" (1-2). After this they go on to divide the land and Hotspur and Glendower have their petty "I-m right - "No I'm right" argument. I think that their argument goes on to further foreshadow the Rebels inevitable loss. Their "sure parties" don't even like eachother and can't be in a room with one-another without arguing. Glendower and Hotspurs' unwillingness to cooperate with one another guarantees the Rebels' a very difficult path to victory --before they can beat the King, they need to band together as a team.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Kell-EH said...

6. I saw the relationship between Glendower and Hotspur to be similar to a young man teasing or mocking the boasts of his favorite uncle. This dialogue was filled with scornful jest and witty banter. Each is egotistical and stubborn, but there is a humour that I read into their insults that reminded me of Falstaff and the prince. Hotspur is more witty, like Hal. He normally quips in response to Glendower’s boasts, much like Hal does with Flagstaff. Glendower says, “I can call spirits from the vasty deep.” Hotspur retorts, “Why, so can I, or so can any man,/but will they come when you do call for them?”(III.1.52-54). This is not vindictive. This is punnery.
In the beginning of the discourse, Glendower says, "...sit, good cousin Hotspur,/for by that name as oft as Lancaster/doth speak of you, his cheek looks pale, and with/a rising sigh he wisheth you in heaven." To which Hotspur responds, "And you in hell, as oft as he hears/Owen Glendower spoke of"(III.1.7-12). They are praising each other. As they are both rebels who wish to depose the king, having Lancaster wish they were dead is a complement. They are a threat. Hotspur's reference to hell is not offensive in this case because the king fears Glendower as a wizard, which is unchristian and would constitute going to hell in the Anglican religion. This is moderately flattering to Glendower, who seems to take so much pride in his supernatural reputation. Proof of the jesting nature of the two men's discourse is Glendower's immediate response. He says, "I cannot blame him. At my nativity/the front of heaven was full of fiery shapes/ of burning cressets, and at my birth/the frame and huge foundation of the earth/ Shak'd like a coward" (III.1.11-17). This is a very similar attitude to Falstaff. Rather than be insulted, Glendower turns the situation around and claims the insult with pride. He then attempts to make it work towards his reputation. We saw the same thing with Falstaff in the pub when the prince caught him lying about his attackers, so he claimed that his superb instinct made him recognize the heir apparent. This reaction, which at first had seemed so unique, is now paralleled in the rebel, Glendower. I think Shakespeare does this to further illustrate the similarities between the pubcrawlers and the rebels. This agrees with the existing theme of unlawful, anti-king behavior between the two groups. What, then, does this relate between Hotspur and Hal, two men with similar relationships between unorthodox, old men?

8:36 PM  
Blogger Kell-EH said...

Now that I have read the rest of the scene, I feel a little contrary to my last post. While I still see a lot of the humour and Glendower's tolerance of Hotspur, I now realize that this discourse contained a very bitter edge as well. The weekend must have put me in too good of a mood when I began reading this scene. This makes me wonder even more about the connection between Hotspur and Hal. Do Hotspur's arrogance and disdain foreshadow the character shift we glimpsed in the speeches in class. Will Hal become Hotspur?

8:57 PM  
Blogger Chennery F said...

In response to Nathan's post:
I also find it amusing how the two strong characters are in such disagreement, and yet are allies. But their strong personalities coinside with their purpose. Shakespeare could not have created two very weak characters who hoped to overthrow a king. Despite their heated arguments, they are, nonetheless, united in their common goal to overthrow the king. But since we know the rebels fail (since there is a King Henry Part II and a King Henry V play), this discord forshadows that even a strong common goal cannot supress two almost enemies.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Chennery F said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:54 PM  
Blogger sarahg said...

Emma--

I completely agree. I actually posted a similar comment on Mr. Sale's class blog. I believe that Act III Scene I shows some qualities in Hotspur that do not fit those of a rebellion leader, or a potential king. This scene actually made me like Hotspur much less than I did in acts I and II. His behavior and attitude were a turn-off, I guess you could say. I sincerely doubt that Hotspur will be a completely positive influence for the rebels.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Eric W. said...

Response to Matt I:
I totally agree with you. Glendower and Hotspur are on the same team fighting for the same things. They need to get over the fact that both of them have too much testosterone and realize they are FRIENDS. I think it is rediculous how Glendower puts himself on a pedestal about his nativity and how it way so supernatural. I also think it is absurd how Hotspur disagress with his piece of land. They are too very strong characters. Why don't they harness their good qualities together, and that way they will be even stronger. Why don't they forgive each other, reunite, and fight?

6:19 AM  
Blogger Kaeli K said...

In response to Emma,

I agree with everything you say, I just want to add a little to it. I believe that it is Glendower's untamable arrogance and Hotspur's mere rejection of his assumed superiority that will ultimately lead to the downfall of the rebels, because their personalities will not be able to work together. Glendower will always think that he possess a natural gift that makes him better than everybody else, illustrated through his belief that the earth shook at his birth, and Hotspur will not let him make such remarks and take such a position, as illustrated through his constant petty bickering.
This scence reveals that Hotspur's lets his emotions control his actions which will make him a loose cannon in battle, especially if he begins to lose because it is made obvious in previous acts that he is a successful, respected warrior.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Kendra W said...

Emma-

I also posted something similar and agree with what you say about Hotspur. I don't think his disrespectful and arrogant attitude is a good reflection on his leadership. He lacks the ability to control his anger and talk with others without completely losing it. I definitely agree that this could lead to a downfall of the rebels if his negative qualities continue to shine through.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Emily M said...

Response to Jesse's post:

I hadn't thought about Hotspur's inability to deal with an outside force as another sign pointing to Prince Hal's right to the throne. While this is a valid assertion, I think Hotpsur's biggest flaw in his character is his hot-headed immaturity. Not only can he not hold a conversation with a respected elder (Glendower), but he is rude to his wife, as well. He blew Glendower's views of prophecies and sorcery way out of proportion, and refuses to even listen to Glendower. This 'hot' antic of his is unacceptable, and proves that he is not only unworthy, but very uncapable of the throne. England needs a level-headed king, not a drama queen!

8:39 PM  
Blogger Lauren M said...

In response to Rachel's post:

That was an AMAZING answer to why the beginning of scene 1 was significant. Do you think the scene reveals anything else about the play? It reveals mucho about Hotspur's issues, but what about the other characters or the theme?

I thought it was interesting how Shakespeare decided to make everyone tools in Glendower's eyes. A theme of arrogance was revealed through Glendower and Hotspur, and it made me stop and think about how pretty much all humans think they've got the edge until someone like Hotspur comes along and forces the reality that all they've got is a bunch of fake securities. And I think it's safe to say that we've all been the middleman Mortimer on occasion. I thought it was cool how Shakespeare used this scene to illustrate the way people interact.

Kudos on your insight. :)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Eric G. said...

Yeah I know this is really late. I'm sorry, really bad first half of week busy (but good) second half.

A lot of people commented on the idea that the relationship between Glendower and Hotspur isn't near strong enough to form an effective rebellion. It basically boils down to is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Winston Churchill once said in regards to an alliace with the Soviet Union, I would make an alliance with the Devil himself if he would stand against Hitler. Incidentally Hotspur is pretty much making a pact with the Devil in his planning with Lord Glendower. I thought it was an interesting parallel. I also wondered if because Mortimer is Glendower's son in law, would the Mortimer gain Glendower's land when Glendower dies? Could this finally unite the Welsh and English people. Or are the rebels dividing and weakening England for their own benefit. I don't feel these rebels have a greater cause other than bolstering their own affulence. They quibble over the land a ton. Hotspur does say that he would give three times as much land to anyone who so deserves it, but that statement does not display a higher cause, but only the excuse of an arrogant man to add to his backyard.

7:46 PM  

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