Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Henry IV, Act IV, scene 3

Rebels and Pub Crawlers, post your comment about Act 4 scene 3. See the directions under Act 4, scene 1 for details. When you finish commenting on this page, post a comment to someone on Mr. Sale's class blog.



Blogger MeganF said...

5. This scene is especially important in portraying Hotspur's weakness, which is compromise. He fails to see other people's point of views. His quick temper and sharp tone will eventually lead to his downfall. An example in the play is when he is arguing with Vernon about whether to attack that night or wait for the troops to get settled. To win his side of the argument, which is to attack now and irrationally, he allows Vernon to be labeled a coward for not agreeing. “You do not counsel well. You speak it out of fear and cold heart," (7-8). This side of Hotspur relates to his name because he is so temperamental and difficult to deal with. Although his strength is sometimes revered as a good quality, in this scene he becomes stupid and driven by foolish motifs. He does not think through the possibility of loosing with out the support of his father, therefore he puts his entire army in jeopardy. I think this scene could be the turning point in power, from Hotspur to Hal. Although Hal hasn't officially taken over, Hotspur has begun to make mistakes.

2:32 PM  
Blogger The Katie S. said...

9. In Act 4, Scene 3, I noticed Hotspur greeted Sir Walter Blunt with astonishing reverie since it is Hotspur who is addressing this man and he rarely remarks to another in an appraising manner: "...and would to God/ You were of our determination./ Some of us love you well, and even those some/ Envy your great deservings and good name/ Because you are not of our quality/ But stand against us like an enemy" (4.3.38-42). Hotspur truly acts with respect towards this gentleman we do not particularly honour. However, I really want to look at the motif of honor and courage through what Hotspur says. Although he doesn't say honour or courage, he clearly holds Blunt relatively high and in this exchange, perceives Blunt as a rebel because Blunt sides with Hotspur’s enemy. I wonder, what is it that Blunt has done historically which Hotspur praises him for, but also what important Blunt has in his person that he should be mentioned at all and regarded so well by the coarse Hotspur.

4:32 PM  
Blogger mickm said...

Dear Megan,
I agree with your analysis of Hotspur. He allows his ego to blind him to the overwhelming handicaps that are confronting him. His father is unable to fight and one of his top associates will not arrive for two weeks. The king is willing to pardon him and all his accomplices plus meet his demands. Hotspur has the conflict in his hand and could easily gain control of the crown. Foolishly, Hotspur wants revenge more than he wants power. Revenge rarely succeeds in the hands of a “hot head” as his name implies. In Hamlet, Hamlet waits until the opportune time to take revenge and in the right circumstances. In addition, senseless blood will be shed when no fighting is necessary. The king is weak and the peasants will soon see that their king is weak and look for another leader. Henry IV has little communication with his kingdom, which places him at a disadvantage. All the reasons that Hotspur gives to Blunt for his rebellion would met with open ears from the public. They seem upset by Henry IV’s illegal ascension to the crown. Hotspur bravado has no merit in the current situation. Additionally, he refuses to listen to the voice of rationale in the form of Worcester who pleads with him to reconsider his offensive. I agree that this scene is the turning point in the play for the rebels. Hotspur is out of control and his stupidity will cost all the rebels a chance at gaining access to the crown.

4:45 PM  
Blogger haley said...

5. This scene portrays Hotspur's irrational thoughts and his quick-tempered nature. He always seems to be too quick to make decisions without fully thinking them out. He is very selfish and does not see how his actions will affect others. I also thought it was interesting when he told Blunt his grievances toward the king. He says "In short time after, he deposed the King,
Soon after that deprived him of his life
And, in the neck of that, tasked the whole state.
To make that worse, suffered his kinsman March
(Who is, if every owner were well placed,
Indeed his king) to be engaged in Wales,
There without ransom to lie forfeited,
Disgraced me in my happy victories,
Sought to entrap me by intelligence,
Rated mine uncle from the council board,
In rage dismissed my father from the court,
Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong,
And in conclusion drove us to seek out
This head of safety, and withal to pry
Into his title, the which we find
Too indirect for long continuance." Hotspur is very easily angered and quite "hot-headed." He is very selfish and quick to point out those who have faulted him. I think he lacks the understanding of a king's responsibilities and is too fast to judge. He wants things to happen immediately instead of carefully weighing the options and thinking things through.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Kell-EH said...

9.I was interested in the role of wholeness in this scene. One of the main faults of Hotspur is that he is far to rash and wishes to proceed with the attack before all of his troops have arrived. Hotspur refuses to listen to Vernon who reasons, “I wonder much, …That you foresee not what impediments/ Drag back our expedition. Certain horse/ Of my cousin Vernon’s are not yet come up./ Your uncle Worcester’s horses came but today,/ And now their pride and mettle is asleep,/ their courage with hard labor tame and dull,/ that not a horse is half the half of himself”(IV.3.16-24). The soldiers are tired, the men are weary, and the reinforcements have yet to arrive. As a fighting force, they are not whole, just as Vernon says that the horses are at one-fourth strength. As someone has previously noted, Hotspur is represented by his mounts and is therefore similarly disunited.
Not only does Hotspur wish to divide England between Glendower, Mortimer, and himself, he wishes to engage in combat before his father’s troops have arrived. The reader, then, gets the sense that division will be the downfall of Hotspur. Likewise, this reiterates the theme that Hal must choose to follow his Kingly obligations or maintain his friendship with the vagabonds/pubcrawlers in order to be successful. This theory is supported by King Henry V’s speech to Falstaff, which we read in class, in which Hal has lost all amusement and tolerance towards Falstaff. Hal consolidates his purposes, responsibilities, and companions into a kingly role, and in so doing becomes the most loved king in English history.
Like kings are united with God and their people through the royal “we,” Shakespeare implies that rashness and division are the undoing of great men and that “wholeness” has something to do with the glory of England.

12:39 AM  
Blogger CarliannB said...

Response to Katie

I also found it interesting how much Hotspur appeared to respect Blunt especially, when at the end of the scene, Hotspur acts out of character almost in respect for Blunt. This is the first time in the play that we have seen Hotspur truly put aside his anger and listen to someone else without mocking him like he did to Glendower in Act III. I really liked Blunt’s line to Hotspur: “I would you accept of grace and love” (119). It is almost as if Blunt knows Hotspur well and knows that Hotspur has a soft side. Why else would he even consider asking Hotspur to take the road of mercy and love instead of war? And to my surprise anyway when I first read it, Hotspur answers with: “And maybe we shall” (120). Though this line does not contain the most eloquent words, these words are important because for the first time Hotspur is listening to someone else, but it is probably too late to save him from his eventual downfall.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Betsy H said...

1. In this scence, Hotspur's complete stubborness comes out. When Blunt(the King's advisor) arrives, he civily proposes that the King will meet the demands of the rebels, and grant a pardon. However, because Hotspur is so stubborn, and certain he can beat the King's grandiose army, he lashes out at Blunt, about the King. He says when King Henry unrightfully obtained the crown, the country turned their back on him, but he, his father, and his uncle took him in and supported him. As soon as Northumberland supported the King however, the country followed and immediately started supporting the King, and the Percy's help was no longer needed, or used. As the scene concludes, Hotspur still didn't listen to Blunt, even though Vernon and Worcester strongly advised him to. This scene really shows Hotspur's flaws as a character and a leader. He DOES NOT listen to anyone, and is so stubborn. He doesn't want to appear weaker than he might be, so he will do anything to keeps his pride and beat the King...with no help.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Sarah E. said...

3. I was curious as to Hotspur's motivations in this scene. As Megan had mentioned, Hotspur shows a weak side which he had not shown before. His compromising attitude is inconsistent with the previous scenes in which his volatile temper and warlike characteristics dominated the other characters. My specific question was why do you think Shakespeare illustrates such a distinct contradiction between Hotspur's actions in the previous scene where he threatens to fight Hal to the death and this scene in which he almost calmly backs down? Could this possibly be a theme of self-growth and maturity as seen in Hal's character and now Hotspur as well? If so, what is Falstaff's purpose as a character since he does not seem to mature in any way?

2:42 PM  
Blogger Jesse! said...

3. This part honestly confused me the most. Hotspur’s long speeche about the history of his father, King Henry and the King Richard wasn’t clear to me. In Shakespearean times, the audience would have already been familiar with this history and although Hotspur’s explanation is needed for modern times, how does this political complication contribute to the characters or plot? If Hotspur’s father helped Henry into power, isn’t Hotspur’s actions hypocritical? (Maybe I totally misunderstood this scene)
However, this does present a new aspect of Hotspur, although he may come off as a rude and hot tempered young man, he is familiar with his past and ancestry. This is essential because one must always acknowledge ancestry and one’s roots, as royal bloodlines connect to high class and powerful positions. From Homer’s “The Odyssey” to the Bible, identity lies within the family. This contradicts Hal’s ignorance, but the Prince is even stronger because he acknowledges not only his father but the people of his country.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Jimmy N. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Jimmy N. said...

5. I find Hotspur's actions toward dealing with King Henry extremely hypocritical. In the scene, Hotspur enlightens Sir Walter Blunt on the history of King Henry and how he came into power. He calims that, "... In short time after, he depos'd the king/ Soon after that, depriv'd him of his life/ And in the neck of that, task'd the whole state, " (90-93). Hotspur's irrational behavior is coming through in full force. I dont understand how he doesn't realize that what he is doing is ideally the same thing king Henry did to overtake the throne in the first place. Granted, Hotspur is willing to overtake the throne in a much more valiant effort, but all in all he is still simply rebelling against the present king. He is merely staging an attack on the throne in attempt to, "knock out," the present monarchy so that he may be able to take the throne. Maybe Hotspur really should have been Henry's son. After all, he is certainly following in the footsteps of the man he is trying to overtake.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Emma V said...

After Blunt delivered the news to Hotspur in regards to the peace offering by King Henry, I was surprised when Hotspur told him to wait for their decision. I was sure that Hotspur would have been more insulted by this request and gone off on more of a tangent and told him that they would not accept any agreement. Does this show a different side to his character? Is he feeling put back because his father is sick or does he have doubts about their campaign?

5:18 PM  
Blogger zackr said...

Responding to Sarah E.

I think the explanation for Hotspurre’s sudden compromise in his treatment of Blunt is that, though Hotspurre’s war remains monumentally important to the fiery noble, his most important motivation is the expression of his principles. Hotspurre gives a long, eloquent, respectful speech expressing his grievances, which I feel he enjoyed delivering. Hotspurre most wants his complaints felt, with war only the chiefly effective method of doing so.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Megan M said...

8. As a sort of subdivision of the honor motif throughout the play, I noticed that the idea of respect came up often in this scene. Vernon mentions it: "Do me no slander, Douglas. By my life/(And I dare well maintain it with my life),/ If well-respected honor bid me on" (lines 9-11), Sir Walter Blunt requests it: "If you vouchsafe me hearing and respect" (line 33), and Hotspur simply gushes it: "Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt, and would to God/You were of our determination./ Some of us love you well, and even those some/ Envy your great deservings and good name" (lines 34-37). Since it deals with the rebels, I associate respect in this scene with the lack of respect these men have for King Henry; Hotspur's long speech supports their reasons for losing said respect. Their demanding it from each other represents the importance of respect in their lives, and further heightens the importance of having confidence in their monarch.
Also, on a side note, I found Hotspur's high praise for Blunt somewhat ironic, as just two scenes before he had asserted: "By God, I cannot flatter. I do defy/The tongues of soothers" (lines 7-8).

8:58 PM  
Blogger Aly A. said...

5. Hotspur was very irritating in this scene. I still can't see why he is so respected and honored because I haven't seen anything of the sort in him. He first was very stubborn and short with Vernon, insisting that they fight the king that night. When Hotspur again doesn't listen to Vernon and says "Tonight, Say I", Vernon responds, frustrated, "Come, come it nay not be. I wonder much, being men of such great leading as you are, that you foresee not what impediments drag back our expedition," (lines 17-20). Vernon cannot understand how Hotspur could ignore all of the problems they were having with getting troops combined and just think about revenging the king. Hotspur is so proud and stubborn that he will not listen to anyone. Even when a messenger for the king comes to find out his motives, he just rambles on about how horrible King Henry is. Hotspur is already making lots of mistakes and losing respect.

9:59 PM  
Blogger julie s said...

5. Oh Hotspur, dearest Hotspur! The audience learns a lot about Hotspur's background in this scene. I knew why Hotspur was leading a rebellion against King Henry, but it was nice to learn some specifics through Hotspur's speech to the messenger (Blunt). Now I can see why he can be so upfront and cruel spirited at times. Everything he fought for and everything that he gave in the name of aquiring the throne in Henry's name has been completely disgraced by Henry. Henry really stabbed Hotspur in the back. For that reason, I don't think that a failure to compromise and see other's views is neccessarily a weakness in Hotspur. He just doesn't want to compromise. He has a vendetta, and I don't blame him.

Most people seem to see Hotspur as anything but noble, and I agree with that view of him, but not entirely. I'm not sure why, but I still have some ray of hope that Hotspur deserves his vialliant status in some way. He is certainly brash, and definitely vulgar on occasion, but I think that is just who Hotspur is. I don't think his personality was neccessarily intended to be a hugely flawed one. I don't see Hotspur as a terrible, terrible man. Maybe it's just the way that I picture him acting while reading the play. I picture him just being a smartass and really knowing what he's doing on the inside, but being arrogant and such on the outside. I don't know why I see him in this light, I just do.

I think Hotspur is a good guy, even though he is a jerk.

10:27 PM  
Blogger laurenc said...

Megan F-

I thought it was really interesting reading about how you thought Hotspur's weakness is compromise. I wonder if later on this will be brought out even more in the play. My group and I are supposed to act out this scene and we decided to portray it in a different light: we saw Vernon's and Worchester's personalities as absolutely dull while Hotspur was overly dramatic. He is the only one of the rebels ready to stand and fight at any moment, which shows his resolve to win the war. Hotspur has so much anger bottled inside him and the rest of the men seem to be unimpressed. They act like they aren't convinced that they should be fighting, because otherwise the men would be anxious to be in battle.

1:58 AM  
Blogger RachaelR said...

Sarah E-If so, what is Falstaff's purpose as a character since he does not seem to mature in any way?
I think Shakespeare use of Falstaff is different than any other character we have ever come across. He doesn't really conform to any of the previous rules that Shakespeare has set, and his actions confuse the reader left and right. I think that Shakespeare uses Falstaff to connect with the everyday person because people don't always necessarily fit a certain mold. He is the odd one out. I like him.
Good question Sarah

8:42 AM  

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