In the face of adversity, what causes some to fail while others triumph?
In Henry IV, the real triumphant figure is, I feel, Prince Hal. When one sees his ultimate triumph over the life of dissipation he previously led, one is ecstatic! To see the Prince overcome such horrid conditions and come back to redeem himself in splendid fashion, one cannot help but feel proud and even admiring of him! The ultimate cause for Hal's triumph is his almost uncanny planning and self-control, even in his dissipation and squalor. Who but a true trickster would think to live a life of sub-standard behavior as a Prince only to come back and shine even brighter than expected? To do that is a truly genius P.R. move, I feel. Hal does a great job of controlling himself, even when he seems out of control. Self-control, discipline, and temperance are the keys to Hal's victory; while the reader does not see them, it is understandable. Hal plays his cards extremely close to the chest.