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Henry IV, Part 1 is a play by William Shakespeare that was first performed in 1600. Read Henry IV, Part 1 here, with side-by-side No Fear translations into modern English.
King Henry IV's plans to launch a crusade are put on hold when news arrives that a rebellion had broken out on one of his borders, and that one of his most successful allies is behaving strangely.
Prince Henry agrees to join in a practical joke on Falstaff. Prince Henry lives an idle life of vice and leisure but does so in order to win notice and respect when he someday turns his life around and becomes a virtuous noble.
Hotspur becomes furious with King Henry over his refusal to honor the contributions that Hotspur’s family made to his rise to power. Earl of Worcester explains an elaborate plan to get King Henry’s rivals to band together in order to overthrow the king.
The innkeeper tells Gadshill that a group of wealthy merchants will be leaving the inn soon, and Gadshill goes to make arrangements to rob them.
Falstaff, along with Gadshill and other friends, rob a group of wealthy travelers, while Prince Henry and Poins prepare to rob Falstaff in turn.
Hotspur decides that he can’t wait any longer to start the rebellion, for fear his plans will be leaked to King Henry. Hotspur’s wife, Lady Percy, asks him what he is up to, but he insults her and refuses to fill her in.
Prince Henry and Falstaff pretend to be the King and Prince.
The leaders of the rebel armies meet to finalize their alliance against King Henry. They divide up who will receive which lands after their victory, and say a final farewell to their wives.
King Henry chastises Prince Henry's behavior and choice of company, claiming that Hotspur would be a better heir because even though he is a traitor, at least he has character. Prince Henry replies that he will begin acting like a worthy heir, and that he will defeat Hotspur in battle.
Prince Henry returns to the Boar’s Head Inn, settles his associates’ debts, and gives each of them their official assignments for the war to come.
The rebels receive troubling news - Hotspur's father has decided not to send his troops, the King's forces are on their way, and Glyndwr's troops won't arrive in time to join the battle.
Falstaff has put together a group of terrible soldiers.
Blunt arrives at the rebels' camp with a peace offering from King Henry, and Hotspur recounts how his family helped King Henry win the throne, but King Henry has not shown gratitude.
The Archbishop of York, concerned that the rebels will be defeated the next day, sends letters in a contingency plan to try to protect himself from being taken down as a rebel himself.
The rebels will not accept the peace offering because Hotspur still feels slighted about his family’s treatment. Prince Henry suggests that he and Hotspur engage in combat to determine the winner and spare the lives of the soldiers on both sides.
Worcester falsely tells Hotspur that King Henry insulted the Percy family. A furious Hotspur declares that he will seek out Prince Henry during the battle and kill him himself.
During the battle, Douglas kills Blunt, who is acting as a decoy for King Henry. Prince Henry loses his sword in battle and when he asks Falstaff to borrow his, Falstaff declines out of cowardice.
Prince Henry defends his father from Douglas in battle. Prince Henry then fights Hotspur in combat, killing him, although Falstaff later stabs Hotspur’s dead body and claims that he was the one to finish him off.
With the battle over and the rebels successfully defeated, King Henry makes plans along with his allies and his son to deal with the other rebellious factions who were not present at the battle.
Buy Henry IV, Part 1 from Barnes and Noble.