King Henry Essay

932 Words Oct 5th, 2010 4 Pages
Sleep is precious to us. When we sleep, we escape reality for awhile and rest our minds and our bodies. Sleep is a necessity for all people and we falter without it. This particular soliloquy written by Shakespeare from Henry IV, Part II, King Henry is unable to sleep. His state of mind throughout the time during his inability to sleep is for the most part, frustration but also some jealousy, because others can sleep and he cannot.

The Soliloquy starts off with “How many thousand of my poorest subjects are at this hour asleep! O sleep! O gentle sleep!” This already reveals that he is awake and jealous of all his subjects because they are asleep and can sleep. The syntax in line two expresses his frustration. He repeats “O” twice when
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That is not the case in this because the poor are granted with sleep and he is not. When it comes to nature, it doesn’t care whether you are poor or rich; everything is equalized, such as sleep. There is no control over nature and King Henry is frustrated with that fact. He doesn’t understand how poor people can have a “pallet stretching thee” and have no comfortable bed, but can still be able to sleep, while he does have a comfortable bed and he cannot. In lines twelve through fourteen, he is using god as a symbol of sleep, and is frustrated with him, hence calling him a “dull god”. He questions why god will allow filthy poor insignificant people to sleep but leave the king awake with his growing frustration. King Henry thinks too highly of himself and truly believes that he is better than everyone else.

The last image that is created by King Henry, is that of a boy on a ship in lines fifteen through twenty-two. This image confirms his unrelenting frustration. It shows that even a boy on a ship during a noisy storm, can still fall asleep. Lines sixteen and seventeen, “seal up the ship-boy’s eyes and rock his brains in cradle of the rude imperious surge” means that the boy is falling asleep during a horrible storm. “ Rock his brains in cradle” correlates that the boy is used to all the noise of the storms and it is like a cradle that “rocks” him and puts him to sleep; it is like a lullaby to him. Even while the storm continues with “deaf’ning

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