Before He Becomes a Man: The Adolescence of Shakespeare’s Prince Hal1

Leon Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay discusses Shakespeare’s adolescent Prince Hal, his relationship to his father, Henry IV, his rebellion, which included a turn to an anti-social mentor, a substitute father, Falstaff. This study explores Shakespeare’s portrayal of the evolution of the complex father-son relationship. Eventually, Prince Hal gives up his rebellion and takes on his adult role, becoming Henry V. Relevant aspects of adolescence are highlighted, including the transition from an adolescence dominated by a narcissistic object choice to an adulthood in which the ego ideal is the most prominent driving force of his behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


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