ENG205 Henry IV Part One by Shakespeare Essay Write an essay of a minimum of four full double-spaced pages, more if you wish.
This paper will consist of an explication (a close reading or unfolding) of a scene or a section of about 40 lines from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part One. You can choose more or fewer lines depending on the substance of the passage. The sources you should consult are your text of the play and the Oxford English Dictionary (available online through the library webpage). You may want to look at other unabridged dictionaries of Shakespearean English. Do NOT consult any other sources. I do not want to read what Critic A or Critic B thinks about the play. I want to know what you think.
As is noted in Literature: The Human Experience, “In an explication essay, you examine a work in much detail. Line by line . . . you explain each part as fully as you can and show how the author’s techniques produce your response” (47). When writing about a play, you use the same techniques and vocabulary as you do when writing a poetry explication, but you also add consideration of dramatic elements. Since English 205 is not a literature course, I do not expect you to be familiar with poetic elements or terms. (If you took English 105, you may remember some of them.) Even if this essay will be your first paper about Shakespeare, you CAN write a full essay about the section of the play you choose.
As you write your explication you may want to consider some of the following:
Characterization. How does the passage present the characters? How are their personalities revealed through words, actions, and dialogue?
Dramatic Irony and Foreshadowing. Does the audience know more than the characters? Do any words or ideas foreshadow what is to come or reflect what came before?
Word Choice (Diction). Use the OED to clarify meaning and possible double meanings or puns. Are there words that have changed significantly in meaning in four hundred years? Are there any words that recur in the passage or throughout the play? Consider denotations and connotations. Is the word choice concrete? abstract? colloquial? formal? What effects do they produce?
Themes. What themes occur in the passage? Do they reflect main ideas of the play? Is there any foreshadowing or reference to previous themes? Is there irony or satire?
Structure. How is the passage structured? Is it predictable? Is there conflict? a build-up? a climactic point? a reversal? How does the passage advance the dramatic action?
Staging. How might the passage be staged? Imagine that you are directing this section of the play onstage. How would you want the characters to move? act? speak? (Follow Hamlet’s advice: “Suit the action to the word, the word to the action [III.ii.19].) Consider costumes, lighting, music, and whatever else you would use to create your vision of the scene. Why would you make these choices? (For instance, why would you want Hal to appear indecisive at a certain part of the scene? Or why would you want Hotspur to sound angry?)
Figurative language. Does the passage contain imagery (appeals to the senses), similes, metaphors, personification, paradox, oxymoron, and so on? How do they add to the meaning and effect?
Sound. Does the passage contain alliteration, assonance, rhyme, onomatopoeia, cacophony, euphony? How do they add to its effect and meaning?
Poetry or prose. What form does the passage take? Consider meter and/or rhyme. What effects are produced?
You do not by any means need to answer all of the questions above. Just use the questions to generate ideas for what you want to write about. If you use information from your text’s footnotes, you must give credit to the editor. Please avoid consulting outside sources other than the dictionaries mentioned earlier. However, if you do, you must document your sources to avoid plagiarism and failure. So if you use Spark Notes or No Fear Shakespeare, you must cite them.
Use MLA format for in-text citations and a Works Cited page. When you begin your explication, give the name of the author and the title of the play. Make clear the Act and scene you will be explicating; then, as you quote or refer to lines, give the line numbers parenthetically in the text of your essay: Of Prince Hal, Hotspur declares, “I would have him poisoned with a pot of ale” (231). When you quote more than one line, use a slash to indicate the line ending: Hal declares, “I’ll so offend to make offense a skill,/ Redeeming time when men think least I will” (220-21). When you are quoting more than four lines of text, block indent the quotation, double space it, and copy it exactly as it is in the text. If you quote a passage of eight lines, for instance, begin each new line exactly as it appears on the page, including capitalization. If you refer to or quote from a scene that is different from your passage, give act, scene, and line numbers: Glendower declares, “I am not in the roll of common men” (III.i.42). Make a copy of your completed essay.
Remember, this is not a plot summary or paraphrase. I know what happens in the scene; I want you to analyze and explicate its significance.
This the link for the book: https://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org/html/1H4.html
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