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Shakespeare’s mingling comedy, history and tragedy reached its peak in Henry IV. Acknowledged to be Shakespeare’s greatest historical saga, Henry IV, Part 1 is a tale of power, treachery and war, exploring the complexity of father-son relationships. King Henry IV despairs because his son Hal lives a dissolute life. The play focuses on the development of Prince Hal rather than on the title character. Hal’s closest friend is Falstaff, a substitute father figure, a witty person who lives with gusto. Instructor Susan Glassman