After thwarting a rebellion that threatened his throne, King Henry IV’s attention is now more directly focused on his son and heir, Prince Hal. Hal is still distanced from the court, spending his time in frivolous ways, while his former companion, Falstaff, finds nothing but trouble in the London underworld. But as Hal witnesses his father’s declining health, he must begin to take his responsibility to the throne more seriously. Henry IV, Part II is one of four connected plays about successive British monarchs, including Richard II, Henry IV, Part I and Henry V.
Known as “The Bard of Avon,” William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest English-language writer known. Enormously popular during his life, Shakespeare’s works continue to resonate more than three centuries after his death, as has his influence on theatre and literature. Shakespeare’s innovative use of character, language, and experimentation with romance as tragedy served as a foundation for later playwrights and dramatists, and some of his most famous lines of dialogue have become part of everyday speech.
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