Henry IV, Part 2

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Henry IV, Part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare (1564–1616)[1].

Sometimes written as Henry IV, Part II or Henry IV (Part 2)

Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2 are sometimes jointly referred to simply as Henry IV, and at other times the individual plays may be referred to by that title. This most frequently occurs in the case of the more popular part one.

The original text

Believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599 and probably performed that year. The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers' Company in 1600 by Andrew Wise and William Aspley and first printed in quarto later that year by Valentine Simmes. The First Folio appeared in 1623.

Translations and Adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans as Hendrik IV

Translated into Setswana as Kgosi Henry wa Bone (1952) by [[M.O.M. Seboni].

Translated into Northern Sotho as Kgosi Henri IV (1973) by N.C. Phatudi

A number of operas named Falstaff, largely based on The Merry Wives of Windsor, with material from Shakespeare's Henry IV, (Parts I and II) added, have been written over the years. Composers and librettists include Antonio Salieri and Carlo Prospero Defranceschi (1799); Michael William Balfe and S. Manfredo Maggione (1838); and Giuseppe Verdi and Arrigo Boito (1893). A "symphonic study" called Falstaff was also written by Edward Elgar in 1913.

Adapted as a stage play called Falstaff by Ian Ferguson in 1976, a combination of the "Falstaff" [2] scenes from Shakespeare’s plays Henry IV (parts 1 and 2) and The Merry Wives of Windsor.


1853: Selections from what is referred to as Henry IV were performed in The Lyceum by the Port Elizabeth Dramatic Society on 22 October, followed by The Spare Bed (Fox Cooper), An Unwarrantable Intrusion ( Morton). This could have been selections from either one or both the Henry IV plays.

1976: Falstaff (Shakespeare/Ferguson) performed by PACT (See details under Falstaff)

1984: Falstaff (Shakespeare/Ferguson) performed by CAPAB (See details under Falstaff)


Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg: pp. 27, 81.

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [3]: pp. 67, 508

PACT theatre programme, 1976.

CAPAB theatre programme, 1984.