Sept. 5, 2008
King Henry IV Essay
The play King Henry IV was written by the famous William Shakespeare and in this soliloquy, our main character goes on a tangent about how he can’t sleep; that’s about the extent of it. As simple as it is though, Shakespeare utilized a few literary devices in order to display King Henry’s true feelings on the matter. For instance, tone and imagery were used to convey his anger towards God and implies to the reader just how troubled King Henry was.
Shakespeare’s use of tone was used significantly within this scene, which helped the reader to completely understand King Henry’s tonality regarding his indignation towards God and his own inability to fall asleep on this particular night. In his anger, King Henry refers to his God as a “dull god” as he only lets King Henry’s “poorest subjects” have the sleep he wishes to have overcome him. Or even how his God would allow a sleeping ship-boy at sea sailing through a monstrous storm would be privileged enough to deserve the dreamless sleep only he should be allowed. It is almost as if King Henry is appalled that his God would choose to help those inferior to him rather than to “deny [sleep] to a king.”
Imagery is a well-known device used in old literature and plays. From what is seen in this soliloquy and other literary works, it seems to be a favorite device of Shakespeare’s. To emphasize on King Henry’s rage, the author gives intricately detailed descriptions of what is going through is troubled mind during this hour. For example, when he is complaining about the townspeople in slumber, he describes their homes as he tries to understand how they can sleep so soundly “in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, and hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber” while he can’t ‘sleep a wink’ in “the pefum’d chambers of the great, Under high canopies of costly state, And lull’d with sounds of sweetest melody.”...