Henry IV, Part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare that was probably written in 1598. It is the third of four plays portraying the historical rise of the English royal House of Lancaster. The play mixes history and comedy, moving from “high” scenes of kings and battles to “low” scenes of city taverns and country life. Its major themes include Henry IV's struggle with the heavy burden of royal power and Henry V's transformation from a young hell-raiser into a wise king.


Read one-minute Sparklet summaries, the detailed scene-by-scene Summary & Analysis, or the Full Book Summary of Henry IV Part 2.


See a complete list of the characters in Henry IV, Part 2.

Further Study

Go further in your study of Henry IV, Part 2 with background information about William Shakespeare and the play, essays on important literary and historical context for the play, mini essays, and suggestions for further reading.