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Henry IV Part 2

William Shakespeare

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Act II, Scenes iii-iv

page 2 of 2

Act II, Scenes iii-iv

Act II, Scenes iii-iv

Act II, Scenes iii-iv

Act II, Scenes iii-iv

Act II, Scenes iii-iv

Ancient Pistol is a unique character and would most likely have struck Shakespeare's audience as hilarious. He is a braggart and "swaggerer" (as Doll and the Hostess call him (69-105))--that is, a brawler--but he also speaks in a bizarrely dramatic style consisting of references to classical literature and to contemporary melodramas, romances, and tragedies. Thus, when he draws his sword to attack Doll, he does not stop with saying, "I'll be revenged of her" (150), but continues by belting out, "I'll see her damned first! To Pluto's damned lake, by this hand, to th'infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also! Hold hook and line, say I! Down, down, dogs! Down, faitors! Have we not Hiren here?" (153-157). Most of what he says is incomprehensible both to us and to the characters in the play.

However, Shakespeare's audiences would have been amused by Pistol for several reasons. For one thing, like many of the other minor characters in the play, he lives up to his name: in 1598, the pistol was a dangerous, noisy, and erratic weapon. But he also comes across as a ludicrous parody of the more melodramatic plays that were being acted on the stage in Shakespeare's time. Among other things, Pistol ridiculously mangles several lines from the flashy and violent plays of Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare's most famous and gifted contemporary and rival.

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ACT II, SCENES III-IV QUIZ

Who was Lady Percy’s husband before his death?
The Earl of Northumberland B. Owen Glendower C. Hotspur D. Lord Bardolph
Who is Falstaff’s favorite prostitute?
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Betrayal or Duty?

by ReadingShakespearefor450th, March 25, 2013

Reading all of Shakespeare by April 2014. Just finished Henry IV, Part Two. I blog on the plays I finish. My take on H IV, Part 2 is at:

http://ow.ly/jpnm8

1 Comments

1 out of 1 people found this helpful

understanding Henry iv part 2

by saukgp, May 25, 2016

written a comprehensive note on henry iv part 2. I think this will be helpful for students

http://shakespearequotesandplays.com/2016/05/25/henry-iv-part-2-summary/

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1 out of 2 people found this helpful

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