While critical responses testify to Hal's desirability, what allows that to go unnoticed — to go without saying — is that the criticism describes a Hal remarkable for his lack of desire. These are history plays, after all, and when desire enters, in the person of Princess Katherine, it does so to secure the patriarchal trajectory. Yet, oddly enough, that ending to Henry V hardly has been read as the point of Hal's arrival: it is, rather, for him to replace his father, to secure the throne, and this means the defeat of Hotspur and the rejection of Falstaff, the reconciliation with the dying king and with the Lord Chief Justice that brings Henry IV to its conclusion.
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