Henry IV, Part 1 (often written as 1 Henry IV) is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. The play dramatises part of the reign of King Henry IV of England, beginning with the battle at Homildon Hill late in 1402, and ending with King Henry's victory in the Battle of Shrewsbury in mid-1403.  In parallel to the political conflict between King Henry and a rebellious faction of nobles, the play depicts the escapades of King Henry's son, Prince Hal (the future King Henry V), and his eventual return to court and favour.
Henry IV, Part 1 is the first of Shakespeare's two plays which deal with the reign of Henry IV (the other being Henry IV, Part 2 ), and the second play in the Henriad, a modern designation for the tetralogy of plays that deal with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V. From its first performance on, it has been an extremely popular work both with the public and critics. 
Of the King's party
The play follows three groups of characters who initially interact only indirectly. These groups grow closer as the play progresses, coming together at the climax during the Battle of Shrewsbury. The first is centered around King Henry IV and his immediate council, who contrive to suppress a growing rebellion. The second is the group of rebel lords, led by Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester and including his brother, the Earl of Northumberland, and energetic nephew, Harry Percy ("Hotspur"). The Scottish Earl of Douglas, the Welshman Owen Glendower, and Edmund Mortimer also join . The third group, the comic center of the play, consists of the young Prince Hal (King Henry's eldest son) and his companions, Falstaff, Poins, Bardolph, and Peto.
From the play's outset, Henry IV's reign is beset by problems: His personal disquiet at having usurped the throne from Richard II would be solved by a crusade to the Holy Land, but trouble on his borders with Scotland and Wales make such an act impossible. Moreover, he is increasingly at odds with the Percy family, who helped him to his throne, and with Edmund Mortimer, Richard II's chosen heir.
King Henry is also troubled by the behaviour of his eldest son and heir, Hal (the future Henry V). Hal spends little time in the royal court, preferring instead to drink in taverns with lowborn and dishonorable companions. This makes him an object of scorn to the nobles and jeopardizes his legitimacy as heir; early in the play, King Henry laments that he can "See riot and dishonour stain the brow of young Harry."  Hal's chief friend is Sir John Falstaff, a cowardly, drunken, but quick-witted knight whose charisma and zest for life captivate the Prince.
In the first scene, the political action of the play is set in motion. King Henry and Hotspur fall out after a disagreement over the treatment of hostages: Hotspur withholds, against the King's orders, hostages taken in recent action against the Scots at the Battle of Homildon Hill, while King Henry refuses to pay Owen Glendower (a Welsh rebel) the ransom for Hotspur's brother-in-law, Edmund Mortimer. This disagreement, and the King's harsh treatment of the House of Percy generally, drives them to ally with Welsh and Scot rebels, resolving to depose "this ingrate and cankered Bolingbroke." 
Meanwhile, Hal meets with Falstaff and his associates at the Boar's Head Tavern. Falstaff and Hal are close, but Hal enjoys insulting Falstaff, and, in a soliloquy, makes it clear that he does not plan to continue in his present lifestyle forever: Hal aims to re-assume his high place in court by proving himself to his father. Indeed, Hal reasons that by suddenly changing his ways he will be even more popular among the nobility than if he had behaved conventionally all his life. Nevertheless, he is happy to carry out a plot against Falstaff: after performing a highway robbery, Hal and Poins will slip away from Falstaff, disguise themselves, and rob Falstaff, purely for the fun of hearing the older man lie about it later, after which Hal will return the stolen money. The plot is carried out successfully.
As the revolt of Mortimer and the House of Percy gains steam, the Prince makes up with his father and is given the command of an army. He vows to fight and kill the rebel Hotspur, and orders Falstaff to recruit and lead a group of foot soldiers. Falstaff uses the appointment to enrich himself by taking bribes from those who do not want to be pressed into service, and, in the end, recruits only the very poor, whose wages he withholds 
All the parties meet at the Battle of Shrewsbury, a crucial moment for all involved: if the rebels are not defeated outright, they will gain a considerable advantage; other forces (under Northumberland, Glendower, Mortimer, and the Archbishop of York) can be called upon in the event of a stalemate or a victory for the rebels. Though Henry outnumbers the rebels,  Hotspur, wild and skilled in battle, will lead the opposing army personally. As the battle drags on, the king is hunted by Douglas. Prince Hal and Hotspur duel, and, in an important moment of noble virtue for the young prince, Hal prevails, killing Hotspur in single combat.
Left on his own during Hal's battle with Hotspur, Falstaff dishonourably feigns death to avoid an attack by Douglas. After Hal leaves Hotspur's body on the field, Falstaff revives in a mock miracle. Seeing he is alone, he stabs Hotspur's corpse in the thigh and claims credit for the kill.  Hal allows Falstaff to claim the honor of the kill. Soon after Hal's generous gesture, Falstaff states that he wants to amend his life and begin "to live cleanly as a nobleman should do". 
The play ends at Shrewsbury, after the battle. The loss of Hotspur and the fight has dealt a serious blow to the rebel cause.  King Henry is pleased with the outcome, not least because it gives him a chance to execute Thomas Percy, the Earl of Worcester, one of his chief enemies (though previously one of his greatest friends). Meanwhile, Hal demonstrates his mercy by ordering Douglas--now a prisoner of war--to be released without ransom.  However, the rebellion continues, now led by the Archbishop of York and the Earl of Northumberland. This inconclusive ending sets the stage for Henry IV, Part 2 .
Shakespeare's primary source for Henry IV, Part 1, as for most of his chronicle histories, was the second edition (1587) of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles , which in turn drew on Edward Hall's The Union of the Two Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York.  Scholars have also assumed that Shakespeare was familiar with Samuel Daniel's poem on the civil wars.  Another source for this (and the following Henry plays) is the anonymous The Famous Victories of Henry V .
1 Henry IV was almost certainly in performance by 1597, given the wealth of allusions and references to the Falstaff character.  The earliest recorded performance occurred on the afternoon of 6 March 1600, when the play was acted at court before the Flemish Ambassador.  Other court performances followed in 1612 and 1625.
The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 25 Feb. 1598 and first printed in quarto later that year by stationer Andrew Wise. The play was Shakespeare's most popular printed text: new editions appeared in 1599, 1604, 1608, 1613, 1622, 1632, 1639, and 1692.
The Dering Manuscript, the earliest extant manuscript text of any Shakespeare play,  provides a single-play version of both Part 1 and Part 2 of Henry IV. The consensus of Shakespeare scholars is that the Dering Manuscript represents a redaction prepared around 1623, perhaps for family or amateur theatrics, by Edward Dering (1598–1644), of Surrenden Manor, Pluckley, Kent, where the manuscript was discovered. A few dissenters have argued that the Dering MS. may indicate that Shakespeare's Henry IV was originally a single play, which the poet later expanded into two parts to capitalise on the popularity of the Sir John Falstaff character. The Dering MS. is part of the collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. 
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At its first publication in 1597 or 1598, the play was titled The History of Henrie the Fourth, and its title page advertised only the presence of Henry Percy and the comic Sir John Falstaff; Prince Hal was not mentioned. Indeed, throughout most of the play's performance history, Hal has been staged as a secondary figure, and popular actors, beginning with James Quin and David Garrick, often preferred to play Hotspur. It was only in the twentieth century that readers and performers began to see the central interest as the coming-of-age story of Hal, who is now seen as the starring role.
In the "coming-of-age" interpretation, Hal's acquaintance with Falstaff and the tavern lowlife humanises him and provides him with a more complete view of life.  At the outset, Prince Hal seems to pale in comparison with the fiery Henry Percy, the young noble lord of the North (whom Shakespeare portrays as considerably younger than he was in history in order to provide a foil for Hal). Many readers interpret the history as a tale of Prince Hal growing up, evolving into King Henry V,  in what is a tale of the prodigal son adapted to the politics of medieval England.  The low proportion of scenes featuring the title character, the king, has also been noted, with some authors suggesting that the play contrasts the authority of Henry IV, and his struggle to stay in control of the situation, with the chaotic forces of the rebels and Falstaff.
Henry IV, Part 1 caused controversy on its first performances in 1597, because the comic character now known as "Falstaff" was originally named "Oldcastle" and was based on John Oldcastle, a famous proto-Protestant martyr with powerful living descendants in England.
Although the character is called Falstaff in all surviving texts of the play, there is abundant external and internal evidence that he was originally called Oldcastle. The change of names is mentioned in seventeenth-century works by Richard James ("Epistle to Sir Harry Bourchier", c. 1625) and Thomas Fuller (Worthies of England, 1662). It is also indicated in detail in the early texts of Shakespeare's plays. In the quarto text of Henry IV, Part 2 (1600), one of Falstaff's speech prefixes in Act I, Scene ii is mistakenly left uncorrected, "Old." instead of "Falst." In III, ii, 25-6 of the same play, Falstaff is said to have been a "page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk"—a statement that is true of the historical Oldcastle. In Henry IV, Part 1, I, ii, 42, Prince Hal calls Falstaff "my old lad of the castle". An iambic pentameter verse line in Henry IV, Part 1 is irregular when using the name "Falstaff", but regular with "Oldcastle". Finally, there is the explicit disclaimer at the close of Henry IV, Part 2 that discriminates between the two figures: "for Oldcastle died [a] martyr, and this is not the man" (Epilogue, 29–32).
There is evidence that Falstaff was originally called Oldcastle in The Merry Wives of Windsor as well, the only play (outside of the two parts Henry IV) that contains the character. When the First Folio and quarto texts of that play are compared, it appears that the joke in V.v.85–90 is that Oldcastle/Falstaff incriminates himself by calling out the first letter of his name, "O, O, O!," when his fingertips are singed with candles—which of course works for "Oldcastle" but not "Falstaff." There is also the "castle" reference in IV.v.6 of the same play. 
The name change and the Epilogue disclaimer were required, it is generally thought,[ by whom? ] because of political pressure: the historical Oldcastle was not only a Protestant martyr but a nobleman with powerful living descendants in Elizabethan England. These were the Lords Cobham: William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham (died 6 March 1597), Warden of the Cinque Ports (1558–97), Knight of the Order of the Garter (1584), and member of the Privy Council (1586–97); his son Henry Brooke, 11th Baron Cobham, Warden of the Cinque Ports and Knight of the Order of the Garter; and Frances Brooke, the 10th Baron's wife, and 11th Baron's mother, a close personal favourite of Queen Elizabeth I.
The elder Lord Cobham is known to have had a strongly negative impact on the lives of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the theatre. The company of actors formed by Shakespeare (the Lord Chamberlain's Men) in 1594 enjoyed the patronage of Henry Carey, first Lord Hunsdon, then serving as Lord Chamberlain. When Carey died on 22 July 1596, the post of Lord Chamberlain was given to William Brooke, Lord Cobham, who withdrew what official protection they had enjoyed. The players were left to the care of the local officials of the City of London, who had long wanted to drive the companies of actors out of the city. Thomas Nashe, in a contemporary letter, complained that the actors were "piteously persecuted by the Lord Mayor and the aldermen" during this period. The interval did not last; when Cobham died less than a year later, the post of Lord Chamberlain went to Henry Carey's son George, 2nd baron Hunsdon, and the actors regained their previous patronage. 
The name was changed to "Falstaff", based on Sir John Fastolf, a historical person with a reputation for cowardice at the Battle of Patay, and whom Shakespeare had previously represented in Henry VI, Part 1 . Fastolf had died without descendants, making him safe for a playwright's use.
Shortly afterward, a team of playwrights wrote a two-part play entitled Sir John Oldcastle , which presents a heroic dramatisation of Oldcastle's life and was published in 1600.
In 1986, the Oxford Shakespeare edition of Shakespeare's works rendered the character's name as Oldcastle, rather than Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1 (although not, confusingly, in Part 2), as a consequence of the editors' aim to present the plays as they would have appeared during their original performances. No other published editions have followed suit.
There have been three BBC television films of Henry IV, Part 1. In the 1960 mini-series An Age of Kings , Tom Fleming starred as Henry IV, with Robert Hardy as Prince Hal, Frank Pettingell as Falstaff, and Sean Connery as Hotspur.  The 1979 BBC Television Shakespeare version starred Jon Finch as Henry IV, David Gwillim as Prince Hal, Anthony Quayle as Falstaff, and Tim Pigott-Smith as Hotspur.  In the 2012 series The Hollow Crown , Henry IV, Part 1 was directed by Richard Eyre and starred Jeremy Irons as Henry IV, Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal, Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff and Joe Armstrong as Hotspur. 
Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight (1965) compiles the two Henry IV plays into a single, condensed storyline, while adding a handful of scenes from Henry V and dialogue from Richard II and The Merry Wives of Windsor . The film stars Welles himself as Falstaff, John Gielgud as King Henry, Keith Baxter as Hal, Margaret Rutherford as Mistress Quickly, Jeanne Moreau as Doll Tearsheet and Norman Rodway as Hotspur.
BBC Television's 1995 Henry IV also combines the two Parts into one adaptation. Ronald Pickup played the King, David Calder Falstaff, Jonathan Firth Hal, and Rufus Sewell Hotspur.
Adapted scenes in flashback from Henry IV are included in the 1989 film version of Henry V (1989) with Robbie Coltrane portraying Sir John Falstaff and Kenneth Branagh playing the young Prince Hal.
Gus Van Sant's 1991 film My Own Private Idaho is loosely based on Part 1 of Henry IV, as well as Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V.
The one-man hip-hop musical Clay is loosely based on Henry IV. 
In 2015 The Michigan Shakespeare Festival produced an award-winning combined production—directed and adapted by Janice L. Blixt—of the two plays  focusing on the relationship between Henry IV and Prince Hal.
In 2016, Graham Abbey combined Richard II and Henry IV, Part 1 into a single play called Breath of Kings: Rebellion. Henry IV, Part II and Henry V together became Breath of Kings: Redemption. Both adaptations were staged at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Abbey, in the productions, played Henry IV (Bolingbroke).
The 2016 app Cycle of Kings features the entire play Henry IV, Part 1 in interactive form, as well as a modern English translation.
In 2019 Netflix released the film The King , an adaptation of the play directed by David Michôd and starring Timothée Chalamet, Robert Pattinson and Joel Edgerton.
The famous Sherlock Holmes catchphrase "The game is afoot" is taken from Act I, Scene 3, line 615, where the Earl of Northumberland says: "Before the game is afoot, thou still let'st slip."
The phrase was also later used by Shakespeare in Henry V, Act III, Scene 1, by the title character:
Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare and is eulogised in a fourth. His significance as a fully developed character is primarily formed in the plays Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2, where he is a companion to Prince Hal, the future King Henry V of England. Falstaff is also featured as the buffoonish suitor of two married women in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Though primarily a comic figure, Falstaff embodies a depth common to Shakespeare's major characters. A fat, vain, and boastful knight, he spends most of his time drinking at the Boar's Head Inn with petty criminals, living on stolen or borrowed money. Falstaff leads the apparently wayward Prince Hal into trouble, and is ultimately repudiated after Hal becomes king.
Sir Henry Percy, nicknamed Hotspur, was an English knight who fought in several campaigns against the Scots in the northern border and against the French during the Hundred Years' War. The nickname "Hotspur" was given to him by the Scots as a tribute to his speed in advance and readiness to attack. The heir to a leading noble family in northern England, Hotspur was one of the earliest and prime movers behind the deposition of King Richard II in favour of Henry Bolingbroke in 1399. He later fell out with the new regime and rebelled, and was slain at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 at the height of his fame.
The Battle of Shrewsbury was a battle fought on 21 July 1403, waged between an army led by the Lancastrian King Henry IV and a rebel army led by Henry "Harry Hotspur" Percy from Northumberland. The battle, the first in which English archers fought each other on English soil, reaffirmed the effectiveness of the longbow and ended the Percy challenge to King Henry IV of England.
The Merry Wives of Windsor or Sir John Falstaff and the Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare first published in 1602, though believed to have been written in or before 1597. The Windsor of the play's title is a reference to the town of Windsor, also the location of Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, England. Though nominally set in the reign of Henry IV or early in the reign of Henry V, the play makes no pretence to exist outside contemporary Elizabethan-era English middle-class life. It features the character Sir John Falstaff, the fat knight who had previously been featured in Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2. It has been adapted for the opera at least ten times. The play is one of Shakespeare's lesser-regarded works among literary critics. Tradition has it that The Merry Wives of Windsor was written at the request of Queen Elizabeth I. After watching Henry IV Part I, she asked Shakespeare to write a play depicting Falstaff in love.
Sir John Oldcastle was an English Lollard leader. From 1409 to 1413, he was summoned to parliament as Baron Cobham, in the right of his wife.
Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, 4th Baron Percy, titular King of Mann, KG, Lord Marshal was the son of Henry de Percy, 3rd Baron Percy, and a descendant of Henry III of England. His mother was Mary of Lancaster, daughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, son of Edmund, Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, who was the son of Henry III.
Sir John Oldcastle is an Elizabethan play about John Oldcastle, a controversial 14th-/15th-century rebel and Lollard who was seen by some of Shakespeare's contemporaries as a proto-Protestant martyr.
Henry IV, Part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. It is the third part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II and Henry IV, Part 1 and succeeded by Henry V.
Henry Brooke, 11th Baron Cobham KG (22 November 1564 – 24 January 1618 /3 February 1618, lord of the Manor of Cobham, Kent, was an English peer who was implicated in the Main Plot against the rule of James I of England.
Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight) (Spanish: Campanadas a medianoche) is a 1966 period comedy-drama film directed by and starring Orson Welles. The Spanish-Swiss co-production was released in the United States as Chimes at Midnight and in most of Europe as Falstaff. The film's plot centres on William Shakespeare's recurring character Sir John Falstaff and the father-son relationship he has with Prince Hal, who must choose between loyalty to his father, King Henry IV, or Falstaff.
Sir Edmund Mortimer IV was an English nobleman and landowner who played a part in the rebellions of the Welsh leader Owain Glyndŵr and of the Percy family against King Henry IV, at the beginning of the 15th century. He perished at the siege of Harlech as part of these conflicts. He was related to many members of the English royal family through his mother, Philippa, Countess of Ulster, who was a granddaughter of King Edward III of England.
"Henry IV, Part I" and "Henry IV, Part II" are the second and third episodes of the first series of the British television series The Hollow Crown, based on the second set of plays in William Shakespeare's Henriad. The episodes were produced by Sam Mendes, directed and adapted by Richard Eyre and starred Jeremy Irons as King Henry IV, Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff and Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal. Much of the cast and crew of both episodes overlap and the plot flows directly from the first to the second. The episodes were first broadcast on 7 July and 14 July 2012 on BBC Two.
An Age of Kings is a fifteen-part serial adaptation of the eight sequential history plays of William Shakespeare, produced and broadcast in Britain by the BBC in 1960. The United States broadcast of the series the following year was hosted by University of Southern California professor Frank Baxter, who provided an introduction for each episode specifically tailored for the American audience. At the time, the show was the most ambitious Shakespearean television adaptation ever made, and was a critical and commercial success in both the UK and the US.
Bardolph is a fictional character who appears in four plays by William Shakespeare. He is a thief who forms part of the entourage of Sir John Falstaff. His grossly inflamed nose and constantly flushed, carbuncle-covered face is a repeated subject for Falstaff's and Prince Hal's comic insults and word-play. Though his role in each play is minor, he often adds comic relief, and helps illustrate the personality change in Henry from Prince to King.
The Dering Manuscript is the earliest extant manuscript text of any play by William Shakespeare. The manuscript combines Part 1 and Part 2 of Henry IV into a single-play redaction. Scholarly consensus indicates that the manuscript was revised in the early 17th century by Sir Edward Dering, a man known for his interest in literature and theater. Dering prepared his redaction for an amateur performance starring friends and family at Surrenden Manor in Pluckley, Kent, where the manuscript was discovered in 1844. This is the earliest known instance of an amateur production of Shakespeare in England. Sourced from the 1613 fifth quarto of Part 1 and the 1600 first quarto of Part 2, the Dering Manuscript contains many textual differences from published quarto and folio editions of the plays. Dering cut nearly 3,000 lines of Shakespearean text and added some 50 lines of his own invention along with numerous minor interventions. The Dering Manuscript is currently a part of the collection at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.
The King is a 2019 epic war film directed by David Michôd, based on several plays from William Shakespeare's Henriad. The screenplay was written by Michôd and Joel Edgerton, who both produced the film with Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Liz Watts. The King includes an ensemble cast led by Timothée Chalamet as the Prince of Wales and later King Henry V of England, alongside Edgerton, Sean Harris, Tom Glynn-Carney, Lily-Rose Depp, Thomasin McKenzie, Robert Pattinson, and Ben Mendelsohn.
Owen Glendower is a character in William Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part One based on the historical Owain Glyndŵr. Glendower is referred to in Henry IV, Part Two, but he does not have a speaking role in that play.