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MonkeyNotes-Henry IV, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

The play is set in early fifteenth-century England, during the reign of King Henry IV.

The scenes shift rapidly from place to place throughout the play, and Shakespeare does not indicate their exact locations. Scenery was minimal in the Elizabethan stage, and scene-to-scene transition was rapid and informal, usually marked by one set of characters exiting the stage and another entering. Changes in location were signaled through changes in action, characters, and language.


Early in the play the scenes involving King Henry and the main plot of the rebellion take place at court. The comic subplot involving Falstaff and Hal takes place at Hal's apartment, an inn in Eastcheap and at the nearby Gad's Hill. The scenes involving the rebels take place at various locations; the rebels meet Henry at court, Hotspur and his wife appear at his castle, the rebels meet together at the home of the Archdeacon in Bangor, Wales; and the Archbishop of York appears at his residence. Toward the end of the play, the action takes place in and about Shrewsbury, where the final battle occurs.

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