King Henry IV, Part II Play
King Henry IV part 2, follows from the action
of part one. Three years have passed since the Percy
rebellion was crushed and The Earl Of Northumberland's
son, Hotspur died at the battle of Shrewsbury. Not all
the rebels have been brought to justice however, the
King appointing Westmoreland and Lancaster to lead an
army to finish them off. Richard Scroop, the Archbishop
of York, one of the remaining rebels is supporting Lord
Hastings, Lord Mowbray and Lord Bardolph in a new rebellion;
Northumberland who has already lost his son Hotspur,
supports them only distantly. This support soon vanishes
as Northumberland's wife and Hotspur's widow blame him
for abandoning Hotspur at Shrewsbury even though Northumberland
was sick, convincing him to hide in Scotland, Lady Grey
convincing Northumberland to leave the rebels.
Meanwhile, Falstaff has returned to form, frequenting
the Boar's Head Inn, Hal rejoining his old friend who
with his huge appetite is driving Mistress Quickly rapidly
out of business. However this fun is soon over as the
King, now suffering illness, summons both to fight once
more. Falstaff who in his last battle recruited poor
soldiers, is tasked with recruiting soldiers once again
for the King of England's army. Unsurprisingly, the
lazy Falstaff ends up keeping company in Gloucestershire
with Justice Shallow whom he quickly takes advantage
of financially. Falstaff corruptly allows his soldiers
to pay their way out of their service to the King of
England. We learn from the Chief Justice in London that
Hal is distancing himself from Falstaff by having him
accompany his brother, Prince John of Lancaster.
In London, Henry IV once more vows to finally set forth
on his much delayed religious crusade if the
rebellion is suppressed. The King, however is far from
happy that his heir to the throne, Hal is still associating
with petty criminals (Falstaff and company).Meanwhile
the growing rebel threat results in the King sending
his second son Prince John of Lancaster to speak with
the Scroop representing the rebels. Prince John agrees
to meet the rebel's demands only if they first disband
their army. Acting in good faith the rebels agree only
to have Prince John's intact army capture rebels Scroop
and the other Lords, all being executed.
Hal arrives to an asleep King, taking his crown. Caught
and accused of wanting his father dead, Hal claims he
thought his father dead and wanted to protect the crown.
The King, now facing death, finally makes peace with
Hal, telling him he does believe he will be fit to rule
the kingdom. The King tells Hal to fight foreign wars
to secure his popularity and occupy his people, the
King then dying. Hal becomes the new King of England.
Falstaff, hearing this, believes he has a friend in
the highest place in the land, immediately departing
for London. As King of England, the old Hal, Falstaff
remembers is no more, the King (Hal) at his coronation,
banning his old friends from being within ten miles
of him; any closer and they will all be put to death.
Hal is now the true King of England.