Henry IV, Pt. 1 is a play that seems like a classic comedy on the surface. But it is actually much richer and deeper than that. In fact, it's a play without which a complete understanding of Shakespeare's canon is impossible. It's enlivened by some of the themes that are most important to Shakespeare: philosophy, theology, cosmology, and, of course, the nature of love and fidelity. Plus it's replete with some of Shakespeare's most pleasing, clever lines, scenes, characters, and plot twists.
In short, it's the perfect Great Book to read in community: to argue about and celebrate and revel in. It's the perfect play for the CiRCE Summer Institute.