Definition of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2

; NAmE
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two plays (c. 1597-8) by Shakespeare based on the period when Henry IV was king of England. The play's main characters are Prince Hal (Henry IV's son and later Henry V) and his friend Falstaff. In Part 1 Hal drinks and jokes with Falstaff and others in the Boar's Head, a London tavern (= pub), and his father worries that he is not serious enough to be a king. However, at the end he accepts his responsibilities and fights in a battle to defeat a rebellion against his father. In Part 2, Hal is still friendly with Falstaff, but when Henry IV dies and Hal becomes king, he rejects him with the famous line: 'I know thee not, old man'.