Sunday, November 4, 2012

Harry's Answer

"So when this loose behavior I throw off/And pay the debt I never promised,/By how much better than my word I am/By so much shall I falsify men's hopes...I'll so offend to make offense a skill,/Redeeming time when men think least I will."

Hal shows very little responsibility. From stealing to hanging with pubcrawlers, he breaks the law and is not responsible to his royal title. Here, Hal seems very free. He is unburdened by the responsibility that would not allow him to follow Falstaff whom he values and is free to do as he pleases. 

Hal is not always irresponsible however. Though he appears to be free in his rebellion, Hal is responsible to his cause and purpose he has set for himself. For Hal, responsibility does not require him to be respectable or dutiful in times of ease. Rather, he shows his responsibility to the crown by being present and active in times of turmoil. 

Hal does not seem to think his freedom even correlates with responsibility. He is a confident and independent thinker who's freedom is not given or earned, but rather acquired through self purpose. Throughout the play, Hal knows his purpose and is confident in himself. 

Between the Harrys:
Harry Percy is very responsible to his title, doing everything right ,
so much so that  Hal's father wishes his own son were more responsible.
But because Harry Percy is so responsible, it is hard to determine whether
or not he is personally free, considering he is often plagued by a hot temper
and is not at peace. Hotspur seems rather rash and immature in comparison to Hal.
 Perhaps his great responsibility to his noble and honorable purpose is blinding
him from the true personal freedom he could achieve. 
Harry (Hal) is not responsible to his title often, but because of this,
the audience is able to see that he is very personally free. The reader gets a
glimpse of Hal's values and personal developments that show he is personally
free from the duties laid upon him, qualities that Shakespeare did not bestow upon