Henry IV Part 1


William Shakespeare

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Henry IV Part 1 Characters

Read our modern English translation.

Prince Hal (Henry, Prince of Wales)

As comfortable in the Boarshead Tavern as he is in the court or on the battlefield, Prince Hal is as fun-loving and mischievous as he is noble and authoritative. Though King Henry and Hotspur initially… read analysis of Prince Hal (Henry, Prince of Wales)

Sir John Falstaff

Falstaff is Prince Hal’s best friend and a merrily obese clown who loves drinking and eating and shamelessly avoids work, war, and responsible adulthood. Unafraid to lie about being more noble than he really… read analysis of Sir John Falstaff

Hotspur (Henry Percy)

As the son of Northumberland and nephew to Worcester, Hotspur is a rebel and a Percy. He is a hotheaded, bloodthirsty warrior who can’t control his speech or restrain his own rages. Hotspur furiously… read analysis of Hotspur (Henry Percy)

Sir Walter Blunt

A loyal noblemen and messenger for King Henry who dresses up as the king during the Battle of Shrewsbury in order to confuse the rebels and protect the king. Sir Walter Blunt is slain by… read analysis of Sir Walter Blunt
Minor Characters
King Henry IV
The ruler of England and father to Prince Hal and Prince John, King Henry is a considerate and peace-loving monarch who works very hard to spare his subjects bloodshed by doing everything he can to negotiate peace with the rebels before the Battle of Shrewsbury.
A rebel and a Percy. Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland is brother to Worcester and father to Hotspur. Along with Worcester, he helped King Henry depose Richard II in the past and feels he has been subsequently under-rewarded by King Henry.
Earl of Worcester
A rebel and a Percy, Thomas Percy, the Earl of Worcester is brother to Northumberland and uncle to Hotspur. He strategizes and sets the treason plot in motion. He also tries to prevent his hotheaded nephew from acting too impetuously.
Earl of Douglas
A rebel and a Scotsman. Though he fights with Hotspur at the play’s start, they are soon united in their treason plot against King Henry. Like Hotspur, Douglas is an eager, bloodthirsty warrior.
Owen Glendower
A rebel and Welshman who believes in celestial signs and is father to Lady Mortimer and father-in-law to Mortimer. Though he is on the side of the rebels, he doesn’t manage to get his forces together in time for the Battle of Shrewsbury.
Edmund Mortimer
An English nobleman, the Earl of March. Hotspur tries to convince King Henry to ransom Mortimer when he is captured by Glendower at play’s start, but the king believes that Mortimer is traitorous. Mortimer’s later friendliness with the rebels proves the king was right.
Earl of Westmoreland
A loyal nobleman and advisor to King Henry who the king pairs with Prince John in battle.
Lady Kate Percy
Hotspur’s neglected wife. Lady Percy and Hotspur are constantly bickering in each other’s presence.
Lady Mortimer
Mortimer’s devoted wife and Glendower’s daughter. Unable to speak English, Lady Mortimer can only speak to her husband in Welsh, which he can’t understand.
Ned Poins
A friend of Prince Hal’s whom Falstaff loathes. Poins plots the practical joke he and the prince play on Falstaff.
A friend ofFalstaff and regular at Boarshead Tavern who helps rob the travelers.
A friend ofFalstaff who helps rob the travelers.
A friend of Falstaff who helps coordinate their robbery of the travelers.
Prince John of Lancaster
King Henry’s young son who surprises everyone by being a brave warrior at the Battle of Shrewsbury.
Richard Scroop
The Archbishop of York, he is a rebel and friend of the Percy family who worries from a distance about their treason plot. He supports the rebels not with military might but with strategic advice and letters to potential allies.
Sir Richard Vernon
A rebel and close friend of Worcester who goes along with Worcester’s plan to misrepresent King Henry’s peace offering to the rebels.
Sir Michael
A rebel and friend of Richard Scroop’s who delivers his letters.
Hostess Quickly
The hostess who runs Boarshead Tavern.
Two carriers at the inn who suspect Gadshill of shady business.
The chamberlain
The chamberlain at the inn who helps Gadshill plot his theft.
The sheriff
The sheriff comes to Boarshead Tavern in search of Falstaff and the stolen loot.
A dim-witted tavern-boy at Boarshead Tavern.
The host of Boarshead Tavern.