This is the strangest fellow, brother John.
Come bring your luggage nobly on your back.
For my part, if a lie may do thee grace,
I’ll gild it with the happiest terms I have.

Prince Hal in Henry IV pt. 1, V.iv.125-8

So, the new Ear Pods from the fruit company, who’s on board?

Same phone, but I’m on my third set of wired Bluetooth headphones, wireless? Twin ear buds connected by a thin wire. Third set. I pay $20 or less, and eventually, those earbuds get eaten by usage. As noted, I also have some super cheap, single earpiece ones, and they work, after a fashion. Not great but at less than ten bucks? Wonderful. Same phone, I might add, two years old.

The phone is two years old. Not bad for disposable tech. Still holds a charge and works just fine. Getting it exchanged for a new one. Think I paid $295 for this one and the resale/recycle value is currently $225. Not bad.

Safety Bonus: the battery doesn’t overheat — no exploding batteries.

The three sets of wired/wireless earbuds speaks more about me and my usage rather than the phone itself. But them new, little earbuds might be easy to lose.


Towards the end of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, part 1, there’s a scene where two rival princes face off, swords drawn. Heat of battle, as enacted on stage. Price Hal has been pretty much wastrel for the first couple of acts, and suddenly starts to redeem himself in battle — against that rival — the guy the King wished was his own son, early on. For the sake of brevity, I’ll skip a lot of plot.

Prince Hal slays his nemesis Hotspur (Percy).

Stage notes, and why seeing it live as play is important for nuances. From a distant memory — the new Old Vic — father/son were playing Falstaff/Hal, back-to-back Part 1 one night and Part 2 the next, or Part 1 matinee and part 2 that evening. Not sure, I know I saw them. The acting team of father/son just lent an extra dynamic to the show. Brilliantly done.

The way I recall that scene, Act 5 — my recollection — then listening to the lines recited on those old wireless/wired earbuds? The play had Hotspur and Falstaff both down, but the mighty Falstaff was playing possum, or “Faked his own death,” to escape (more) battle-bodily harm. Hal battles Hotspur and Hal mortally wounds Hotspur, then Hal laments the loss of fat old John Falstaff, and Hal exits. Falstaff rouses, sees the supposedly dead Hotspur, stabs him one more time, and then carries off the now dead for sure rebel prince.

Next scene, Falstaff claims to have killed Hotspur; Hal knows differently. When I saw it staged, though, Hotspur was merely wounded, not dead yet, and if Falstaff hadn’t run the body through one more time, there could’ve been a complication — it’s the old-fashioned way of dealing with one’s enemies. Kill them or they will be back to cause more trouble.

When I was listening to the play — yet again — that reading made clear that Hotspur was dead by Hal’s sword, and Falstaff was a bit of an indolent reprobate, I think the pop-psych word these days? Narcissist.


The staging, the actors on the stage and their reactions to the events depicted — that interpretation — directorial inspiration? Whatever the source, I have two examples of very different interpretations of the exact same scenes within the play.

Exact. Same. Words.

Totally different interpretations, different messages, I suppose.


Essentially, $160 for wireless earbuds isn’t all that much, and if — big if — the earbuds live up to half the hype? Could be quite good. At 5 hours of playing time, that’s a couple of client calls, maybe a Shakespeare play — or one long commute to Austin — and back.

The last two scenes in in Shakespeare's Henry IV, pt. 1, as I saw staged, then listened to, years later? The two, distinctly different versions tell different stories. I’ve gotten very fond of wireless/wired/Bluetooth (TM) earbuds. I’ll see, but I guess they will be worth the price, when they arrive.

Another possibility? I could slip the earbuds on, wave them at the itablet thing and watch Amazon’s "I Love Dick" while my date gently slumbered.

Henry IV: Part 1 (The Hollow Crown) – Richard Eyre

#Shakespeare and its family of websites participate in affiliate programs, which means there are material connections between the ads, and this site. for appearances —
See the fineprint for full disclosure and terms.

© 1994 – 2022 Kramer Wetzel for

1 comment… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Next post:

Previous post: