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An Analysis Of Symbolism Between A Father And His Son In William Shakespeare’s Play

1335 words - 5 pages

During the course of his plays, Shakespeare uses symbolism to portray his life, time period and messages he wants to get across to the audience. For example, many individuals in his time were not fond of his work and his response is used in his plays in the form of symbolism. Furthermore, symbolism is used to enhance the meaning of what is essentially being described. Moreover, Shakespeare utilizes symbolism in Henry IV, Part 1 to foreshadow the play and to guarantee that the Prince of Wales will shine like the sun and start a new era and become the new king like he was destined to be. However, Henry IV considers Hal not fit for court and Hal needs to change his mind by battling with his father in the Battle of Shrewsbury. Symbolism is constantly recurring throughout the play and is reminding the audience of the final phase where Hal turns into a king. In this play, symbolism of the sun and the moon are brought up continuously and are related directly to King Henry IV and the Prince of Wales because of their placement in court.
The sun is often seen as symbolism that represents power and authority. This is because the sun is argued to represent the king and his reign. King Henry is very much connected with the symbol of the sun with respect to his ability and inability as King. First, the clouds that blur King Henry’s light come from his own doubts about the legitimacy of his reign. King Henry gathered the court to discuss the battle while Worcester interrupted him and reminded him that “our own hands” (1.3.12) helped the king to become what he is now, but the king responded quickly and said, “O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory, /And majesty might never yet endure / The moody frontier of a servant brow. / You have good leave to leave us” (1.3.16-19). In this respect, the clouds replace the sun which is equivalent to King Henry’s uncertainty about his position as King. Worcester and Northumberland believe that the king should not be where he is now without their assistance but, the king on the other hand knows that Worcester was precise but he does not want to be reminded of it with so much supremacy already in his control. Secondly, the bleak shadow can quickly be replaced by the shining sun as the sun symbolizes power, authority and success as a leader. The king addresses Hal and states, “By being seldom seen, I could not stir / But like a comet I was wondered at; / That men would tell their children ‘This is he.’” (3.2.46-48). His inability is represented by having a dark shadow in place of the sun, providing a negative and sombre tone that represents his failure as a person. However, the complete opposite end of the spectrum would include the sun representing his success and willingness to accept his new responsibilities as King, resulting in success and prosperity. This undoubtedly connects King Henry with the sun. Finally, Prince Hal relates himself to the shining sun, when it hides behind the clouds, it is missed and when it...

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