Sources for Henry IV, Part 2

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As with Henry IV, Part I, Shakespeare depended upon Holinshed’s Chronicles (Henry IV) and Daniel’s Civil Wars. Shakespeare’s inclusion of Henry’s profound deathbed guilt over the usurpation of Richard II was, among other dramatic developments, due to Daniel’s epic poem. To enhance the character of the Chief Justice, Shakespeare probably consulted a third source, The Annales of England (1592), by John Stow. And, in shaping the character of Welsh military leader Owen Glendower, Shakespeare’s most likely consulted A Mirror for Magistrates (1559), a didactic anthology of biographies, written in verse, describing the horrible yet deserved fates of tyrants and villains. For an in-depth examination of Shakespeare’s use of his sources in both parts of Henry IV, please see the sources for Henry IV, Part 1.