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Word Count: 1,153
A Man of the Moon or Not at All In Act I Scene II of William Shakespeares Henry IV Part I Prince Henry of Wales aka Hal delivers a monologue that has profound effects on both the perception of his character and on the entire plot of the play Prior to his monologue in scene II the Prince plots mischief with his mutinous friends Falstaff and Poins We think the Prince to be somewhat easy to read He seems to be merely a rebellious young heir to the throne who spends all his time with highwaymen robbers and whores on the bad side of London all to the disdain of his father the King This is not to say he is a flat character In fact he is extremely witty and brilliant with language But as usual Shakespeare demonstrates that all is not as simple as it seems When the Princes friends have gone the mood and tone of the scene immediately change from mischievous sarcasm to dark and insidious treachery I know you all and will a while uphold The unyoked humour of your idleness The Prince is saying that for a while he will maintain an air of acquiescence to the shady activities of his friends Suddenly we realize we have been deceived in some way but we know not to what degree Its as if the sound of the door closing behind Poins triggers a switch inside the Prince We now know there is much more to this seemingly waggish and rebellious young rogue and one can easily imagine his devious grin slowly revealing itself upon his face as his speech moves forward Yet herein will I imitate the sun Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world That when he please again to be himself Being wanted he may be more wonderd at By breaking through the foul and ugly
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