More troubled and troubling than 'King Henry IV Part 1', 'King Henry IV Part 2' continues the story of King Henry's decline and Hal's reform. Though Part 2 echoes the structure of the earlier play, its is a darker and more unsettling world, in which even Falstaff's revelry is more tired and cynical, and the once-merry Hal sloughs off his tavern companions to become King Henry V. Though probably less performed and written about, critics have nevertheless praised the play for its mature style. This text, based on the 1600 First Quarto, is supplemented by additional sequences from the 1623 First Folio.
Responsibility and Honor-- In Henry IV, Part 2, Hal continues his journey of growth becoming a man fit to hold the throne of England. He distances himself from John Falstaff and takes up important responsibilities for his father, the King. For his part Falstaff is looking forward to a time when Hal becomes King and rewards him for his friendship. Rumour is a pipe Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures, And of so easy and so plain a stop That the blunt monster with uncounted heads, The still-discordant wavering multitude, Can play upon it.