Tag Archives: tavern

The significance of the tavern

attributed to David Teniers

Peasants feasting in a tavern attributed to David Teniers

The tavern scenes in Henry IV Part I are set in┬ástark contrast to those that take place in the room’s of royalty and the battlefield. Hal’s lower class friends are not so concerned with the overthrowing of monarchs or war strategy. Pranks and hearty eating are much higher on the list of priorities at the tavern in Eastcheap. Why would Shakespeare include such debauchery in one of his histories praising the rise of the current royal bloodline? Harry’s time in the taverns is important in creating a more dynamic, more relatable depiction of England. It also creates a space removed from the drama of the royals and war where Harry and can temporarily escape to. Just as importantly, when Harry leaves the tavern, the heavy reality and role into which he was born can be fully appreciated. Continue reading