“There’s Only Room for One” Quote: C. S. Lewis

There’s Only Room for One: a very famous line on the battlefield, particularly in one on one matches. This line, or ones similar to it, show up time and time again. C. S. Lewis uses this line on the battlefield between Peter and the Telmarine King in his book, Prince Caspian, and it similar version was used by Shakespeare in King Henry IV, between the Prince of Wales and the leader of a rebellion.

Shakespeare, however, takes this line to the next level. He uses an astronomical comparison as a metaphor of what every person expects to hear when the two warriors begin spewing empty words at each other. This metaphor, along with many others used by Shakespeare, sparks up his plays, books, and movies that have followed.

Prince Hal was the son of the King of Wales. For the first 20 years of his life, he cared not of what power he could have as a Prince, but instead of what pleased him at the moment. Instead, Henry Percy rose up and took on the position that should have been Hal’s and carried out military expeditions that were commanded by the King. After awhile, Henry Percy (Hotspur) felt that the King was not rendering what was due to Hotspur and his father, so he decided out of uncontrollable anger to lead a rebellion against the King.

In desperation, the King sends for his son and forces him to realize the seriousness of the situation. When the King and Prince set up a plan to squash the rebellion, they also, yet not yet knowing it, set up a one on one encounter between Hotspur and Prince Hal.

Before the fight begins between the two, Prince Hal says to Henry, unsatisfied in his anger, “Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere!” (Act 5. Si. 4.1.71) He was saying that he no longer wanted to wait for the inevitable. As simple interpretation goes, this line metaphorically represents Prince Hal and Percy as the two stars. The motion is derived to mean power and authority, along with recognition and respect. The sphere, to represent the Kingdom at hand.

Not only does this usage of language point out Shakespeare’s technique in play writing, but it gives a character to Prince Hal that has not really been expressed in the movie until now. This metaphor will most likely stick in the minds of all who continue on with the adventures to see Prince Hal later become King Henry V.

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