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MonkeyNotes-Henry IV, Part 2 by William Shakespeare
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Notes

In this scene John of Lancaster is portrayed as a cold politician unlike his older brother Hal. The scene provides the resolution to the main action which is the theme of the rebellion.

The Prince reproves York for being a rebel instead of a spiritual leader who he should be “To us the speaker in his parliament,/ To us th’imagin”d voice of God himself,/ The very opener and intelligencer/ Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven.” York is thought of as speaker of a celestial parliament; the image suggests the Divine Prince and the celestial hierarchy. Shakespeare is thinking of the monarch and court. York convinces him that he is not the King’s enemy but he is forced to be in this position by circumstances and he deeply regrets it. Once again he repeats about the Court not considering the grievances which he has sent. Thereupon “this Hydra son of war is born, that is the reason for he becoming a rebel.” The rebel in him is compared to a hydra with its many heads and destructive character. The prince agrees to settle the grievances and apologizes for the delay. He says that due to the lawlessness prevailing in the state some official must have misused his authority. He requests humbly that the King may not be blamed for this. He appears here to be a figure who will use any means to achieve his purpose.


The Prince seems to be well respected and honored by his troops. When Westmoreland orders them to disperse, they refuse to do so until they hear it from the Prince directly. This shows the loyalty of the troops to the Prince. He says, “They know their duties.”

The scene has an unexpected ending. Suddenly, Westmoreland announces the arrest of Hastings, York, and Mowbray. The main action has reached its climax. They are sent for execution which is the punishment given to traitors.

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