William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part One

Hugh Grady (Arcadia University, (formerly Beaver College))
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King Henry IV, Part 1


1 Henry IV

) is his most highly praised history play and is generally considered one of his several masterpieces, whether it is seen as an autonomous drama independent of its sequel (

2 Henry IV

) or as the first half of a two-part work. It is the second of a set of linked history plays by Shakespeare called by scholars the “second historical tetralogy,” in contrast to an earlier and similarly linked set (“the first historical tetralogy”) constituted by

1, 2, and 3 Henry

VI and


III. In terms of both the story line and the order of the plays’ composition by Shakespeare,

1 Henry

IV follows

Richard II

and is in turn followed by

2 Henry

IV and

Henry V

, telling the story of the fortunes of the two Lancastrian kings (Henry IV and Henry V)…

2967 words

Citation: Grady, Hugh. "Henry IV, Part One". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2004; last revised 21 November 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4801, accessed 26 May 2024.]

4801 Henry IV, Part One 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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