King Henry Essay

Submitted By mcrobles559
Words: 548
Pages: 3

Christina Robles
AP Lit
November 8, 12
Sleep serves as an escape from reality. In the midst of a civil war, England’s monarch’s frustrations and fears lead to a night of civil turmoil and physical consequences for the restless king. In William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II, the king portrays his experience of his inability to sleep when even “thousand of [his] poorest subjects…are sleep[ing]” and unaware of the ongoing war (lines 1-2). Shakespeare employment of complex syntax, intense imagery and lengthy diction emphasize the king’s insomnia and frustrated state of mind through the use of literary devices such as apostrophe, onomonopia and alliteration.
To convey king Henry's distressed state of mind, Shakespeare employs superiority distinctions with the use of intense imagery in order to allow status comparisons between Henry and his subjects. The majesty is thus described as resting in the "perfum'd chambers of the great" when his subjects lie "in smoky cribs...upon uneasy pallets"(lines 6,7,9). The king’s beings to bemoan his responsibilities that arise from being monarch by obsessing his thoughts towards the citizens with jealousy and rage by filling his mind how all "his...subjects" are at that very moment "lull'd with sound of sweetest melody" while he is force to stay awake (line 11). The king’s emotions show his stress, fear, and anger causes his absurd thoughts that lead to his insomnia. King Henry uses several literary devices to address sleep as the antagonist with the employment of complex syntax and lengthy diction. Apostrophe furthers emotional intensity; the king directly speaks to sleep through his whining "O sleep! O gentle sleep” then later addresses sleep with the word "thou" and last with the phrase "O partial sleep” (lines 1,3,6,12,23)! Shakespeare uses an apostrophe by addressing a nonexistent person; sleep, as though it is capable of understanding. By utilizing an apostrophe the king can be seen as though he is frustrated because he becomes desperate for sleep to the extent of talking an inanimate object. This phase highlights his sleep disorder and anxiety attack by the use of repetitive exclamations making the syntax complex." Sleep takes on human