Henry IV Part 1

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Celestial Events Symbol Analysis

Celestial Events Symbol Icon
In Henry IV Part 1, celestial events are controversial symbols. Some characters, such as Glendower and Bardolph, believe in their symbolic power and read the future in the skies, trusting the motions of the sun, moon, stars, and meteors to foretell events in the human world. Yet for other characters, such as Prince Hal and Hotspur, celestial events are totally devoid of symbolic power and are just ordinary natural processes that have nothing to do with human history. Throughout the play, celestial events play a dual role: they function both as an affirmation of symbolic significance in the natural world and as a refutation of that significance, depending on who’s looking at them.
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Celestial Events Symbol Timeline in Henry IV Part 1

The timeline below shows where the symbol Celestial Events appears in Henry IV Part 1. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Appearances Theme Icon
Honor Theme Icon
...behavior has nothing to do with his true nature. He compares himself to a personified sun who may “permit the base contagious clouds” to dull “his beauty” but who, “when he... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Appearances Theme Icon
Honor Theme Icon
...When Hal asks what excuse they have for such cowardice, Bardolph points to the portentous meteors which, he says, foreshadow angry times. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Appearances Theme Icon
...natural phenomena that would have occurred whether or not Glendower was born. Glendower insists that the sky was in flames and “the Earth did tremble” in specific announcement of his birth. He... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Appearances Theme Icon
...Prince John, Sir Walter Blunt, and Falstaff observe the dawn. The king says the blood-red sun looks angry at the day. Prince Hal says the whistling of the southern wind “foretells... (full context)