“Cultural values are reflected in literature of the time.”
Analyse the relationships between text and culture in both Henry IV part 1 and The Simpsons.
In works of literature, the hero is always someone to be looked up to, admired and respected. He (or she) is supposed to embody the ideal attributes and moral values of the creator, in order to appeal to a wider audience who share the same values. The values of every culture are shaped by the surrounding social conditions of the time. Therefore, different attributes are valued through different periods of time; which is reflected through the literature of an era.
The text 1 Henry IV is set during the very beginning of the 15th century, starting in 1402and ending with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in 1403. King Henry IV began his rule by overthrowing the previous king and spent much of his reign defending himself against plots and assassination attempts; providing social conditions of political instability and violent rebellion. These conditions helped build the strong cultural values society had at the time about what values are desirable in a ruler and the true nature of honour. Although written by Shakespeare under the rule of Elizabeth I, leadership and honour were themes that appealed and were important to the late-sixteenth-century audience. The leading character, Prince Henry of Monmouth – commonly referred to as ‘Hal’ and ‘Harry’ in the text – embodies these values, despite being introduced as an initially disreputable character. His transformation throughout the play shows the modern audience exactly what 16th century society ideals were.
A remarkably similar transformation to that of the infamous Prince Hal takes place during The Simpsons’ episode The Telltale Head. While the character of Bart is initially introduced as a mischievous and rebellious individual, during the course of the episode he “crosses the line” in vandalising the statue of the town’s founder by decapitating it....