Monday, November 29, 2010

Suburbs of Our Discontent

This weekend, I declared Henry IV (parts 1 and 2) to be the official Shakespeare plays of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Why is this, you ask? Well, let me give you a hint. Hal's father, King Henry IV, is all about laying on the guilt. Laying it on thick. So what if Hal killed that loudmouth Hotspur, saved his father's life, and now stays at home instead of partying with his friends? King Henry thinks that other people's kids are better than Hal, and he's not afraid to talk about it.

In Henry IV Part Two, King Henry accuses Hal of wanting him to die so that he can get all of his stuff. We would understand completely if Hal's head imploded from the sheer intensity of the guilt. But it doesn't. He soldiers on, sucking it up, and promising to do better next time. It's a special moment that has "family holiday time" written all over it.

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