Henry V: Henry V Dramatis Persone: Dramatis Persone King Henry V
Gloster, Bedford: Brothers of the king
Exeter: Uncle to the king
York: Cousin to the king
Cambridge, Scroop, Grey: Conspirators against the king
Fluellen, Pistol, Bardolph: Soldiers in Henry’s army
Charles The Sixth: King of France
Dauphin: Heir to French throne
Montjoy: French soldier Prologue: Prologue Read 489
The chorus introduces the play
Ask the audience to imagine two monarchs planning to fight over who rules France.
They ask the audience to imagine the stage holding all the glorious plains of France and the battlefield where Henry V was victorious.
Watch movie scene Act I Scene 1: Act I Scene 1 The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely discuss a bill that would strip the church of large portions of its temporal lands
Being clergymen, they are of course strongly opposed to this bill.
Canterbury tells Ely that he has tried to convince Henry V to vote against the bill, thereby assuring its failure.
In return, the church has promised Henry that it will give him the largest sum ever given to a monarch in order to finance his campaign against France.
The church also agrees to recognize Henry's claim to the throne of France by maternal descent from King Edward III. Act I Scene 1: Act I Scene 1 Both men remark on the fact that the King is a completely different man than they expected him to be.
They refer back to his wild days as a youth (portrayed by Shakespeare in Henry IV, Part I and to his seeming lack of interest in the crown.
They comment on the fact that since assuming power, Henry V has become Machiavellian in his approach to affairs of state, showing that he is a great politician, great military strategist, and also a familiar with religious affairs.
Act I Scene 2: Act I Scene 2 Read I.2.490-491
King Henry calls Ely and Canterbury into his royal court and asks them if he has a legal right to claim France.
He needs them, as representatives of the church, to legitimate his claim before he can attack France.
Before they give him their answer, he warns them that if they say he has a rightful claim then he will pursue a bloody war against France.
At issue is whether Henry can claim France through his maternal line, given that France adheres to Salic law, a law which says that no woman may inherit the throne in France. Act I Scene 2: Act I Scene 2 Canterbury tells the king that the Salic law first originated in Germany, near Meissen.
Since the law is not native to France, it is therefore illegal for France to use that law.
Canterbury also adds that several of the French kings have claimed the throne through their maternal lines in the past
Both Exeter and Westmorland, noblemen and friends of King Henry, urge him to proceed in laying claim to France.
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Act I Scene 2: Act I Scene 2 King Henry is worried that if he gathers an army against France he will be vulnerable to attack from Scotland.
Historically Scotland has revolted when the King of England has left to attack France, a problem Henry needs to resolve.
His advisors and noblemen tell him that the border defenses will be strong enough to withstand any such attack.
Canterbury finally advises him to divide the British forces into four parts; take one quarter and fight in France; leave three quarters back to defend the English borders.
Henry agrees to this plan.
Act I Scene 2: Act I Scene 2 Read I.2.493
King Henry then orders the messengers from the Dauphin of France (the son of the King of France) to be brought in.
The messengers present him with a "treasure" of tennis balls for his pleasure.
They comment that the Dauphin wishes him to accept the "treasure" in lieu of the dukedoms that Henry has already laid claim to.
Henry is not amused with the joke, and says:
"Tell [the Dauphin] he hath made a match with such a wrangler / That all the courts of France will be disturbed" (1.2.264-265).
He sends the messengers away with the message that he will conquer France and that thousands will die as a result of the Dauphin's "shallow wit" (1.2.295).
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Analysis: Chrous: Analysis: Chrous Henry V is a daunting play to write
Shakespeare struggled to not only surpass his previous successes in Henry IV, Parts I,II but also to contain the action on the stage.
Part of his answer was to introduce the Chorus that serves to introduce each act of the play.
Shakespeare quickly realized that this was merely an attempt to contain the disorder of the play.
The chorus asks:
"Can this cock-pit hold / The vasty fields of France?" (Prologue,11)
The answer is no, it cannot.
The Prologue to each act is simply an attempt to control the disorder of the action, to contain it and manipulate it. Analysis: Politics: Analysis: Politics The very first scenes introduce Henry as a political figure, a brilliant politician and deal-maker.
Through the political plotting of Canterbury and Ely, Henry has gotten the Church to give him money in return for his protection.
The support of the church makes his campaign against France more legitimate,
Helps win him the support of all Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England through the church's influence. Analysis: Salic Law: Analysis: Salic Law This law essentially prohibits a man from inheriting through the maternal line, or as Canterbury says:
"No woman shall succeed in Salic land".
This question of inheriting through the maternal line is important, because it not only legitimates Henry's claim to France, but later on his son's claim as well once Henry marries Catherine of France.
Canterbury essentially sidesteps the issue by telling Henry that the Salic Law cannot apply to France since it did not originate there, and that he therefore has a claim to the throne. Analysis: Containing Disorder: Analysis: Containing Disorder As the chorus tries to contain disorder, so too does Henry.
Henry mentions that he is afraid of Scotland rebelling in the event that he leaves for France.
It is Henry's ability to transform himself that allows him to suppress the disorder at home, he manages to become a Christian king rather than a delinquent.
"We are no tyrant, but a Christian king; / Unto whose grace our passion is as subject / As are our wretches fetter'd in our prisons" (1.2.241-243).
By making his passions limited by state, reason, and self-control he is able to win the support of Scotland as well.
This contrasts strongly with the uncontrolled Dauphin who makes a joke of Henry V by sending tennis balls.
Analysis: Power: Analysis: Power One of the larger themes in almost any Shakespearian drama is the issue of rising and falling from power.
Often, as in the Richard plays, the monarch will peak and then fall to his death or destruction.
Henry differs in that he alone realizes he must fall in order to rise.
He tells the messengers from the Dauphin:
"But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state, Be like a king and show my sail of greatness When I do rouse me in my throne of France:
For that I have laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France" (1.2.273-279) Analysis: The Dauphin: Analysis: The Dauphin The carefree attitude of the Dauphin and his underestimation of Henry makes him appear to be a fool.
Henry indicates that:
"His [the Dauphin's] jest will savour but of shallow wit / When thousands weep more than did laugh at it" (1.2.295-296).
In the First Folio edition this comes through even stronger when we see the Dauphin writing poetry to his horse rather than to a mistress.
Henry, by contrast, will use prose when wooing Catherine rather than waste his words on something as replaceable as a horse.
Act II Chorus: Act II Chorus Read 493-494
The chorus tells the audience that:
"the youth of England are on fire," (2.0.1) and that men throughout the land are preparing for a war with France.
The French, afraid of the threat which Henry poses, have bribed three men to become traitors.
The Earl of Cambridge, Lord Scrope, and Sir Thomas Gray of Northumberland have accepted French money and conspire to kill Henry before he can depart for France.
Watch movie scene Act II Scene 1: Act II Scene 1 Corporal Nim and Lieutenant Bardolph are waiting for Pistol and his wife the Hostess to arrive.
Nim was formerly betrothed to the Hostess, and is upset that Pistol has married her.
Pistol arrives and soon he and Nim have drawn their swords and are ready to fight over the Hostess.
She makes them put the swords away, but they again draw on each other only a few lines later. Act II Scene 1: Act II Scene 1 Bardolph, upset by this, draws his own sword and threatens to kill the first man that dares to injure the other man.
Before anything serious happens, the Boy who serves Falstaff appears and tells the men that his master is very sick.
Nim tells Pistol that he will forget about the fight provided Pistol pays him the eight shillings he won gambling.
Pistol agrees to give him a "noble", equivalent to six shillings and eight pence.
Nim agrees to this arrangement and the men leave to go see how Falstaff is doing.
Act II Scene 2: Act II Scene 2 Read II.2.495-497
Westmorland, Gloucester and Exeter arrive and discuss the fact that Henry knows that Scrope, Grey and Cambridge have become traitors.
They remark that the traitors are able to pretend to be so loyal to Henry in spite of the fact that they accepted French money to kill him.
They cannot believe that these men would sell their king's life for such a small amount of money. Act II Scene 2: Act II Scene 2 Henry arrives accompanied by Scrope, Cambridge and Grey.
He first asks them if they think he will be victorious against the French forces.
They all tell him there is no doubt that he will win.
Henry then decides to play a game with them.
He orders Exeter to free a man accused of treason from the prison.
Scrope objects, saying that it will set a bad example for the rest of the people.
"O let us yet be merciful" (2.2.47).
The other two traitors also object and tell him to put the man to death.
Act II Scene 2: Act II Scene 2 Henry nonetheless orders the man to be set free.
He changes topics and asks who the commissioners are (the men who will rule England in his absence).
All three of the traitors inform him that he bade them come in order to receive a commission.
Henry hands them letters of commission and tells Exeter and Westmorland that the army will leave that night for France.
He turns back to the traitors and remarks that they appear quite pale.
Act II Scene 2: Act II Scene 2 The traitors have read the documents, which clearly implicate them in a plot to kill Henry.
They beg for mercy, but he refuses to grant them any since they themselves would not pardon the accused man whom he wanted to free.
He sends them away to be executed, and tells the assembled lords to prepare for war with France.
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Act II Scene 3: Act II Scene 3 Hostess Quickly, Nim, Pistol and Bardolph return from visiting Falstaff who has died.
They discuss whether he went to heaven or hell, and Hostess Quickly says he cannot be in hell.
Nim says that Falstaff swore off wine at the end, formerly one of his great indulgences.
Falstaff's Boy tells them Falstaff swore off women, calling them "devils incarnate" (2.3.28).
They all kiss the Hostess goodbye except for Nim and leave to join Henry's army. Act II Scene 4: Act II Scene 4 King Charles the Sixth of France tells his dukes Berri, Bourbon and his son the Dauphin, to make sure France is well defended against Henry.
The Dauphin says it is a good idea, but that it is also unnecessary because Henry is an idle king who acts more like a capricious youth.
The Constable tells the Dauphin to be quiet because he is mistaken about Henry's real personality.
Act II Scene 4: Act II Scene 4 Read II.4.498-499
Charles decides that it is safer to prepare a strong defense rather than risk Henry being too strong.
He is afraid of repeating the battle of Crecy, where Prince Edward of Wales defeated the French on their own territory.
A messenger interrupts Charles' speech and informs him that Exeter has arrived as an ambassador from King Henry.
King Charles orders Exeter to be brought before him. Act II Scene 4: Act II Scene 4 Exeter informs Charles that Henry demands the throne of France, wants Charles to willingly give up the crown or be responsible for the war
Charles tells Exeter that he will give him a response the next day.
Exeter also has a message for the Dauphin, and tells the young prince that Henry will make him pay for his joke.
Exeter lastly informs the court that Henry has already landed on French soil, Charles should give him a response immediately.
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Analysis: Richard III: Analysis: Richard III Henry V is considered by some critics to be a parallel to Richard III.
There are many similarities which serve to mark the differences between Richard III and Henry V as kings:
The Chorus states that the English are preparing for battle, "following the mirror of all Christian kings" (2.0.6).
This compares to the mirror that Richard can’t look into for when he has destroyed all his people.
Unlike Henry, who serves as a mirror for his people, Richard lies and destroys.
Henry can make people obey and emulate him, Richard just threatens and destroys. Analysis: Falstaff’s Death: Analysis: Falstaff’s Death The rejection of Falstaff marks a loss of the only character capable of commenting on the hypocrisy of the play.
Hostess Quickly lays the blame for Falstaff's death firmly on Henry's head.
Falstaff needs to die in Henry's England:
He is an older character
Falstaff symbolizes an old world order that is now over.
Hostess Quickly remarks that Falstaff is in, "Arthur's bosom" (2.3.9), when actually it should be Abraham's bosom.
This transition from biblical to English history marks the death of the old disordered world. Analysis: Analysis The only man who survives this play among the group of friends that Henry V used to spend time with is Pistol.
He is a coward who takes advantage of every situation to steal or collect ransom
Pistol cannot be killed.
He represents the common man struggling to survive on his wits alone. Analysis: The Dauphin: Analysis: The Dauphin The first impression that we receive of the Dauphin through his gift of tennis balls is confirmed in this act.
He is unable to look at Henry other than as a young good-for-nothing.
This mistake of his will be made indirectly by all the other French nobility as well in the way they act so sure of victory.
The Constable seems able to see through Henry's reputation, telling him:
"O peace, Prince Dauphin. / You are too much mistaken in this king" (2.4.29-30).
The greatest mistake the Dauphin makes is that he himself acts in the manner he accuses Henry of.
He is the one who vainly sends tennis balls and who writes poems to his horse.
This will lead him to be replaced as son, allowing Henry to become the heir to France rather than the Dauphin.
Analysis: Blame: Analysis: Blame A central theme of this play is also the assignment of blame.
Henry is constantly at odds with his men over who should be blamed for his actions.
He chooses to put the blame for the war on everyone but himself.
King Henry tells Canterbury that a war will result if his claim to France is upheld, thereby inferring that Canterbury is somehow responsible his future actions.
He sends a message via Exeter to King Charles:
"Deliver up the crown, and... take mercy / On the poor souls for whom this hungry war / Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head / Turns he the widows' tears, the orphans' cries" (2.4.103-106).
Henry tries to blame King Charles of France for the suffering unless Charles yields his crown
Act III Chorus: Act III Chorus Read
The chorus describes Henry's army boarding the ships
They also mention that King Charles has made Henry an offer.
Charles offers his daughter Catherine in marriage and will give some unprofitable dukedoms
Henry does not like the offer, and chooses instead to go to war.
Watch movie scene Act III Scene 1: Act III Scene 1 Read III.1.499-500
The scene opens in the middle of a battle.
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, / Or close the wall up with our English dead" (3.1.1-2).
Henry proceeds to order his men to not dishonor their glorious forefathers.
He motivates his men by telling them to teach the French how to really fight, thereby rallying his men to war and victory. Act III Scene 1: Act III Scene 1 Bardolph enters crying:
"On, on, on, on! To the breach, to the breach!" (3.1.1).
Nim and Pistol tell him that the fighting is too hot there and that they would rather stay alive.
The Welsh captain, Fluellen, sees them standing still and starts to beat them while shouting at them to continue moving.
When Nim makes a sarcastic remark, Fluellen starts to beat him until he and the others leave.
The Boy, who formerly served Falstaff, remains behind and comments that he must find a new set of masters other than the three thieves for whom he has no respect.
Watch movie scene Act III Scene 3: Act III Scene 3 Captain Fluellen and Captain Gower, representing Wales and England respectively, discuss the tunnels which are being dug to undermine the fortress at Harfleur.
Fluellen tells Gower that Captain MacMorris, who is in charge of building the tunnels is allowing the enemy to build counter-tunnels four feet below his tunnels.
Captain MacMorris (from Ireland) and Captain Jamy (from Scotland) arrive.
Fluellen remarks that Jamy is a marvelous man whose war tactics he respects. Act III Scene 3: Act III Scene 3 MacMorris tells them that the diggers were forced to quit and that he is upset because in one more hour he would have blown up the town.
Fluellen offers him some advice on warfare, but mistakenly refers to MacMorris' "nation".
Fluellen wants to show the Irishman that he fully understands the disciplines of war, but MacMorris does not want to be taught by the Welshman.
Act III Scene 2: Act III Scene 2 Read III.2.501-502
The town of Harfleur sounds a parley, a signal that they want to negotiate.
Henry tells them it had better be the last negotiation, or he will destroy the town.
He tells the governor that he will allow his men to rape the daughters, smash the heads of the fathers, and spit the infants on pikes unless there is an immediate surrender.
The governor informs him that the Dauphin is unable to come to the town's defense, and that therefore he will yield the town to Henry's mercy.
The gates are opened, and Henry instantly orders Exeter fortify the town against the French.
Watch movie scene Act III Scene 3: Act III Scene 3 Read III.3.502
The princess Catherine, the daughter of Charles, asks an older gentlewoman named Alice to teach her English.
The entire scene is done in French, and Catherine learns the words for hand, finger, nails, foot, arm, chin, and elbow.
Catherine learns the words well enough to repeat them at the end of the lesson before going to dinner.
Watch movie scene Act III Scene 4: Act III Scene 4 King Charles is upset that Henry is advancing so rapidly through France.
The noblemen and the Dauphin are shocked at the fighting ability of the British, and remark that unless Henry's troops are stopped, they will be forced to work and dance like the English.
They further complain that Henry is being honored by the French women for being more valiant than their own men. Act III Scene 4: Act III Scene 4 Read III.4.502-503
Charles orders his nobles to rally every man and take their army against Henry.
The Constable remarks that Henry's army is fewer in number and that many of his men are sick and famished, and therefore Charles should easily win the battle.
Charles lastly orders his son the Dauphin to remain with him in Rouen rather than go to battle.
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Act III Scene 6: Act III Scene 6 Fluellen tells Gower that he has seen Exeter valiantly defending the bridge so that Henry's troops can cross over.
He then adds that Exeter has an ensign lieutenant with him named Pistol whom he also thinks is a great soldier.
Gower says he does not know who Pistol is, but Pistol arrives at that moment. Act III Scene 6: Act III Scene 6 Read III.6.503-505
Pistol asks Fluellen to intercede with Exeter and free Bardolph, who has stolen a religious tablet and is set to hang for his crime.
Fluellen refuses, saying he would maintain the discipline even if Bardolph were his brother.
Pistol curses him and makes a rude gesture before storming away.
Gower tells Fluellen that he now recognizes Pistol as a common thief, and tells Fluellen to not be deceived by the man.
Act III Scene 6: Act III Scene 6 King Henry arrives, and Fluellen tells him that Exeter manages to win the bridge without losing a single man, other than Bardolph whom he ordered executed.
Henry agrees with the execution, and tells Fluellen that if any other men are caught stealing, the same sentence should apply to them.
He remarks that in war it is the gentler of the armies that emerges triumphant in the end.
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Act III Scene 6: Act III Scene 6 Montjoy arrives from King Charles and tells King Henry that France has merely been sleeping, but now the full force of the French army will fight with him.
He orders Henry to depart from France.
He further demands that King Charles be fully compensated for the damages Henry has done and wants Henry to beg mercy from Charles.
Henry tells Montjoy that although his army is weak with sickness, he will continue marching into France and will have to be defeated in battle. Act III Scene 7: Act III Scene 7 The French nobles are organizing near Agincourt
Bourbon remarks that he would not change his horse for anything, and tells the other men that he even wrote a sonnet to the horse once.
Orleans interrupts him and comments that the sonnet sounds like it is for a lover, not a horse.
Bourbon and the Constable continue talking, making sexual innuendoes concerning horses and mistresses.
Bourbon finally leaves to go arm himself.
Act III Scene 7: Act III Scene 7 The Constable and Orleans comment on how they wish it were morning so they could defeat the English army.
A messenger arrives and tells the men that the English army is only fifteen hundred paces away that night.
They both comment that the English are probably not enjoying the night or anticipating the morning's battle the way they are.
Both noblemen are convinced they will have no trouble defeating the English the next morning. Analysis: Inheritance: Analysis: Inheritance The issue of inheritance is complicated in this play not only by the issue of Salic law but also by the fact that battle can alter whose claim is more valid.
Inheritance is therefore not passive the way it should be, but actively fought over.
War and bloodshed is a means of clarifying inheritance, where the victor can lay a stronger claim.
Henry certainly manages to do this when he defeats Charles and debars the Dauphin from assuming the throne. Analysis: Analysis The issue of inheritance is also tied up with fathers and sons.
Fathers are figures whom sons must emulate, often in the form of valour on the battlefield.
Henry calls on the sons of England to duplicate their fathers' exploits or fall short and fail:
“On, on, you noblest English,
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof,
Fathers that like so many Alexanders
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument.
Dishonor not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you called fathers did beget you" (3.1.17-23) Analysis: Henry’s Threat: Analysis: Henry’s Threat As surprising as it is to describe his own men as rapists and murderers, Henry brilliantly makes the potential victims members of families, such as daughters, fathers, mothers, and infants.
This heightens the impact of the violence to such a degree that the governor yields the town without a fight.
It also makes it clear that what Henry is really threatening to destroy is the entire inheritance structure of the town, without which Harfleur loses its entire identity.
This connection between family and inheritance underlies the reason why Henry refuses to marry Catherine the first time Charles offers her to him.
Henry does not only need Catherine as his wife, he also needs the assurance that Charles will make him his heir. Analysis: Family: Analysis: Family Indeed, it is wrong to assume that only the French face disruption of their families.
The Constable makes clear:
"His [Henry's] soldiers sick and famished in their march, / For I am sure when he shall see our army / He'll drop his heart into the sink of fear" (3.5.57-59).
Henry is not just lightly marching through France, he is struggling to keep together a suffering army as well.
The losses Henry deals with are largely due to sickness and starvation.
"My people are with sickness much enfeebled, / My numbers lessened, and those few I have / Almost no better than so many French" (3.6.131-133).
However, given that Henry speaks these lines to the French Herald, it is probable that he is exaggerating to give the French a false sense of confidence. Analysis: The Army: Analysis: The Army The heterogeneous nature of the army is firmly established in Act Three.
There are four officers with four accents, English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh.
The unity of the men rests on their allegiance to Henry.
Indeed, when Fluellen refers to MacMorris' "nation," he is corrected by the Irishman, who says, "Of my nation? What ish my nation?...Who talks of my nation?" (3.3.59).
This cohesion among that disparate regions is something only Henry has managed and is what his father battled for most of his reign.
Analysis: Comedy: Analysis: Comedy In Act Three, Scene Four we are introduced to Catherine.
This scene, largely a comedy, also serves to seriously foreshadow two results.
By learning the English language, Catherine foreshadows defeat for her father and shows that she must get used to a foreign tongue.
However, she also indicates a union of the two languages and kingdoms by virtue of her willingness to use English words.
Act IV Chorus: Act IV Chorus Read 506
The two armies are situated very close to one another and the noises from each camp can be heard by the enemy.
The chorus indicates the French are eagerly waiting for the night to go away and that they are supremely overconfident in their victory the next morning.
The English, meanwhile, are quietly sitting by their fires looking tired and haggard.
King Henry has disguised himself as a common soldier and is visiting his men at each tent in an attempt to lift up their spirits.
Watch movie scene Act IV Scene 1: Act IV Scene 1 Read IV.1.507-509
Henry tells his brothers, Clarence and Gloucester, that the army is in grave danger and therefore they need even greater courage.
Sir Erpingham, an elderly man, arrives. Henry asks him for his cloak and puts it on, thereby disguising himself as one of the soldiers.
He commands Clarence and Gloucester to gather the princes in the camp at his pavilion.
In the meantime he himself goes to visit the common soldiers. Act IV Scene 1: Act IV Scene 1 Pistol hears Henry approaching and demands his name.
Henry replies with Henry le roi, French for "the King."
He then tells Pistol he is a gentleman under Fluellen's command.
Pistol leaves and Fluellen and Gower arrive, but are unaware that Henry is standing nearby watching them.
Fluellen admonishes Gower for talking too loudly, and tells him that just because the French army is unable to be quiet, that does not mean the English army has a right to be overly loud.
Both captains leave, and King Henry remarks that although unconventional at times, Fluellen is a very good captain.
Act IV Scene 1: Act IV Scene 1 Three soldiers, named Bates, Court, and Williams, enter and greet King Henry, who now pretends to be a member of Erpingham's company.
Henry tells them that:
"I think the King is but a man, as I am" (4.1.99).
They are unwilling to fight since they are afraid of dying the next day, but Henry tells them that there is no other place he would rather be than fighting for the King.
He further adds that:
"I myself heard the King say he would not be ransomed" (4.1.177)
Indicating the King will fight to the death rather than surrender.
Act IV Scene 1: Act IV Scene 1 Williams, one of the soldiers, does not believe him and says that the king could easily break his word to them.
Henry pretends to take offense at this, and claims that he has been challenged.
He agrees to fight Williams if they both survive the battle.
They trade gloves and promise to wear the gloves in their bonnets so that they will be able to recognize each other in the future.
Act IV Scene 1: Act IV Scene 1 Williams, after taking the king's glove, tells him he will box him on the ears if he ever returns to accept the challenge.
Bates tells the two men:
"Be friends, you English fools, be friends. We have French quarrels enough" (4.1.206).
The soldiers exit, and Henry is left alone.
He remarks that the soldiers want to blame all their troubles on the King
Henry then comments
He insists that the only thing that separates a king from the commoners is the use of ceremony. Act IV Scene 1: Act IV Scene 1 Erpingham finds Henry and tells him that the nobles are gathered and that they are worried about him since he has been gone so long.
Henry quickly says a short prayer, asking God to forgive the fact that his father usurped the throne from Richard II.
Gloucester arrives and Henry returns with him to meet the nobles.
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Act IV Scene 2: Act IV Scene 2 In the French camp, the Dukes of Bourbon and Orleans and Lord Rambures discuss the wonderful morning in anticipation of the coming battle.
The Constable arrives and remarks on how spirited their horses seem, and Bourbon tells him they should prick the horses hides so the blood will spray out into the English soldiers' eyes.
A messenger interrupts their discourse and informs them that the English have already formed battle lines.
The Constable rallies the men by telling them their appearance alone will make the English run away. Act IV Scene 2: Act IV Scene 2 Lord Grandpre enters the camp and asks the lords why they are waiting to go to battle.
He tells them the English have already walked onto the battle field.
He then proceeds to describe the English as "cadaver" and "desperate to their bones" (4.2.39).
The other men laugh at the description and finally the Constable orders them to go to the field.
Act IV Scene 3: Act IV Scene 3 The English lords and dukes are assembled, waiting for Henry to arrive and wondering what has happened to him.
Clarence informs them that Henry has gone to look at the French army, which Warwick claims has sixty thousand men in it.
Exeter comments that the English are thereby outnumbered five to one, and the French also have been well fed rather than on a starvation diet.
Salisbury exclaims, "'Tis a fearful odds" (4.3.5), but he nonetheless goes to his command post to lead his troops.
Act IV Scene 3: Act IV Scene 3 Read IV.3.510-511
Henry enters the gathering from behind and overhears Warwick wishing for another ten thousand men.
Henry speaks to Warwick and the assembled men and says:
"No, my fair cousin. / ...The fewer men, the greater share of honour" (4.3.19,22).
He tells them that any soldier who does not wish to fight with them should be allowed to leave immediately
Henry then proceeds to give what is famously known as his "Crispin Day Speech" because he emphasizes that every man will always remember that on this Feast of Crispian they were wounded while defeating France for the glory of England.
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. / For he today that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother" (4.3.60-62).
Watch movie scene Act IV Scene 3: Act IV Scene 3 The Earl of Salisbury enters again and tells Henry that the French are already on the field of battle and marching towards them.
King Henry orders his lords to take up their battle stations.
He then meets with Montjoy, a messenger sent by the Constable of France, for one last negotiation.
Montjoy asks him if he will agree to the terms that were previously offered him
Henry tells him to come and collect his bones himself rather then expect them to be handed over willingly.
He then sends Montjoy away, telling to not come again if it is to ask him for surrender.
Act IV Scene 4: Act IV Scene 4 Pistol, accompanied by the Boy, has come across a French soldier whom he is threatening to kill.
He first makes fun of the man's French, but soon has the Boy translate for him.
Pistol tells the man that he will kill him unless he pays a ransom.
The man agrees to give Pistol two hundred crowns for which he is let loose and ordered to follow Pistol so that he can pay him.
The Boy comments at the end that Pistol is far worse a thief than Bardolph or Nim ever were. Act IV Scene 5: Act IV Scene 5 The French leaders, namely the Constable, Bourbon, Orleans and Rambures meet briefly on the battlefield.
They all say that the day is lost and that the army is in complete disarray.
Bourbon finally takes charge of the situation, saying:
"The devil take order. Once more back again! / And he that will not follow Bourbon now, / Let him go home, and with his cap in hand" (4.5.10-12).
The Constable agrees with him, and they return to the battle. Act IV Scene 6: Act IV Scene 6 Henry enters with his soldiers and their prisoners.
Exeter meets him and tells him that York, who lead the charge, commends himself to King Henry.
Henry asks Exeter whether York is still alive.
Exeter tells how Suffolk fell first and died on the battlefield, at which point York went over to where Suffolk lay and also fell down.
York told Suffolk that he would join him in heaven and died with him arm around the other man's neck. Act IV Scene 6: Act IV Scene 6 Henry is saddened by the loss of his men but does not have time for tears.
He realizes that the French have regrouped on the field and are leading another attack.
Henry tells his soldiers to kill their prisoners so they can keep fighting, which they do.
Pistol ends the scene by saying, "Cut the throat" in French.
Act IV Scene 7: Act IV Scene 7 Read IV.7.513-
Fluellen and Gower are outside Henry's pavilion discussing the decisions that Henry has made throughout the play.
Fluellen compares Henry to Alexander the Great and draws a long analogy between the two men and the places where they were born.
When Fluellen mentions that Alexander killed his friend Cleitus in anger, Gower interrupts him and says:
"Our King is not like him in that. He never killed any of his friends" (4.7.33-34).
Fluellen tells Gower not to cut him off prematurely, and then points out that Henry turned away Sir John Falstaff.
Watch movie scene Act IV Scene 7: Act IV Scene 7 King Henry enters with his army and the new French prisoners including Bourbon and Orleans.
Henry tells his herald that he was not angry before but he is now because some horsemen are standing on a hill refusing to attack the English but also refusing to retreat.
He orders the Herald to inform that they should vacate the field or he will kill off all of the prisoners.
Act IV Scene 7: Act IV Scene 7 Montjoy enters at that moment and begs permission from Henry to allow the French to catalog their dead and separate the noblemen from the common soldiers.
Henry tells him that he does not know if he has won yet since the horsemen are still riding around the battlefield.
Montjoy tells him that he has conquered the French army and that the castle located nearby is Agincourt.
Henry then declares the battle to have taken place on the field Agincourt, thereby naming the battle.
Act IV Scene 7: Act IV Scene 7 Fluellen comments that Henry's ancestor Edward the Black Prince won a valiant battle in France as well.
Henry agrees with him.
Fluellen then tells Henry that at the time the Welsh fought in a leek garden and put leeks into their hats, a symbol that is still a sign of a Welsh soldier.
He lastly praises Henry as his king and tells him that he will never be ashamed of him:
"so long as your majesty is an honest man" (4.7.104-105). Act IV Scene 7: Act IV Scene 7 Williams enters with Henry's glove in his cap and Henry orders Exeter to fetch him.
He asks Williams why he is wearing the glove, and Williams tells him that he has a feud to settle with the owner.
Henry then orders Williams to go fetch Captain Gower and bring him.
Once Williams has left, Henry hands Fluellen the glove he received from Williams and tells him to wear it in his hat.
He further gives instructions that Fluellen should arrest any man that challenges him on account of the glove.
He then sends Fluellen to fetch Gower as well, knowing that Fluellen and Williams will meet each other.
Henry tells Warwick and Gloucester what he has done, and orders them to follow Fluellen and prevent him from harming Williams.
Act IV Scene 8: Act IV Scene 8 Williams enters with Gower, telling Gower that Henry probably want to see him in order to knight him.
Fluellen soon arrives and Williams, seeing the glove, challenges Fluellen by hitting him.
Fluellen calls him a traitor and orders Gower to stand aside so he may arrest Williams.
Warwick and Gloucester arrive and ask what the problem is.
Henry soon appears with Exeter, and Fluellen hands Williams over to Henry.
Act IV Scene 8: Act IV Scene 8 Henry matches up the two pairs of gloves and tells Williams that he was the man whom Williams promised to hit.
He then has Exeter fill the glove with crowns and give it Williams, whom he tells to wear it in his cap.
Williams, insulted by the way things have turned out, says, "I will none of your money" (4.8.62).
Fluellen encourages Williams to take the money, although whether he does is ambiguous. Act IV Scene 8: Act IV Scene 8 A messenger arrives and gives Henry a list of the French dead.
Henry tells his men that over ten thousand French soldiers died, a large number of whom were high ranking nobility.
He is then handed another piece of paper listing the English dead, which only lists four men of high rank and twenty-five common soldiers.
He orders them to go to the village and allows Fluellen to tell the soldiers how many French they killed.
Analysis: Disguise: Analysis: Disguise Henry's use of a disguise so that he can walk amongst his men mimics the descent of Christ.
For the first time Henry uses prose so that his men can understand him plainly, and it is through the use of language that he will convince the men.
The chorus describes this as, "A little touch of Harry in the night" (4.0.47).
Throughout this scene Henry becomes more like Christ, the King come to earth. Analysis: Analysis The idea of Henry as a Christ-figure is further supported by what he says to his men.
He tells them that, "I think the King is but a man, as I am" (4.1.99).
Richard III can only be a man.
Henry, however, has learned his doubleness of speech from Falstaff and he is therefore able to be a King and a man at the same time. Analysis: Games: Analysis: Games In the game that Henry plays with Williams, the audience can see a problem emerging.
The games played by Henry are really not games because he always wins.
Unlike in his youth where Falstaff could lose but still get one or two punches in, now that Henry is king no one can touch him.
Williams learns this the hard way when he wrongly hits Fluellen.
Even when he is offered a glove full of crowns he is resentful of the outcome.
The scene leaves the audience wondering why Henry wanted to play the game in the first place.
It has been thought by some critics that Henry's love of games led him to attack France in the first place Analysis: Games: Analysis: Games In fact, the real reason Henry challenges Williams is not to make sport with him, but rather because Williams is one of the only people to actually blame Henry for what happens to his soldiers:
"But if the cause be not good, the King himself hath aheavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and
heads chopped off in a battle shall join together at the latter
day, and cry all, 'We died at such a place'- some swearing,
some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor
behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their
children rawly left" (4.1.128-134) Analysis: Games: Analysis: Games Since Henry has consistently tried to pass the blame for the battle off onto other men, this amounts to a problem.
It is Henry's inability to accept personal responsibility for his actions that makes him challenge Williams
Once the soldiers leave, Henry still tries to justify himself to the audience, saying:
"The King is not bound to answer the particular endings of his soldiers" (4.1.146).
Having heard Williams speak and knowing that men will soon die, it is difficult for us to believe him at this point.
Analysis: Analysis The perception of Henry among the soldiers is also interesting to see.
Fluellen, in his comparison of Henry V with Alexander the Great, comments that Alexander killed his best friend.
Gower immediately corrects him on Henry’s behalf
Fluellen is quick to point out that this is not true.
He reminds both Gower and the audience that Henry has symbolically killed Falstaff, a rejection of friendship that has stunned audiences again and again.
However necessary it was for Henry to dismiss Falstaff's negative habits and influence from his life
Act V Chorus: Act V Chorus Read 516
The chorus tells how Henry returned to London to a triumphant homecoming.
They describe how all the people were celebrating out on the streets and cheering for their conqueror.
The chorus compares the cheering crowds to those that might greet the Earl of Essex
The Earl of Essex was sent by Queen Elizabeth to fight in Ireland, and this is what Shakespeare is alluding to.
The chorus then moves ahead in time and comments on the fact that Henry invaded France twice more, in 1417 and in 1420, the latter date being the first scene of Act Five.
Watch movie scene Act V Scene 1: Act V Scene 1 Gower and Fluellen are at the English camp in France.
Gower asks Fluellen why he is wearing a leek in his hat given that St. Davy's day is past.
Fluellen tells him that Pistol approached him the day before with salt and spread and asked him to eat the leek in his hat.
Since there were other men around, Fluellen could not challenge him, but instead decided to wear the leek in his hat until he saw Pistol again so that he can get revenge. Act V Scene 1: Act V Scene 1 Pistol enters and makes fun of the smell of the leek in Fluellen's hat,
Fluellen takes the leek and asks Pistol to eat it since he has been so insulting to the Welsh symbol.
Pistol refuses, and Fluellen strikes him.
He continues striking Pistol until the man takes the leek and starts to eat it.
Once Pistol finishes eating it, Fluellen offers him four pence for his trouble.
Pistol accepts the money and Fluellen leaves.
Gower further admonishes Pistol for mocking the ancient Welsh custom of wearing the leeks and also departs.
Pistol remains onstage and informs the audience that his wife Hostess Quickly has died from the French Disease
He decides to return to England, work as a thief, and pretend the marks he just received from Fluellen are battle scars.
Act V Scene 2: Act V Scene 2 Read V.2.517-512
King Henry meets with King Charles for the first time, accompanied by many lords and attendants of both their courts.
They greet each other and then listen to hear what Burgundy has to say.
Burgundy compares France to an overgrown garden than needs to have peace in order to become productive again.
King Henry tells him that peace will come as soon as Charles answers to his demands.
Charles asks Henry to appoint some of his men to go over the documents and articles with him once more, after which he promises to give his answer.
Henry sends all of the nobles who came with him, giving them power to negotiate and ratify on his behalf.
Everyone leaves to discuss the documents except for Henry and Charles' daughter Katherine and her servant. Act V Scene 2: Act V Scene 2 Henry turns to Catherine and says:
"Fair Catherine, and most fair, / Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms / Such as will enter a lady's ear / And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?" (5.2.98-101).
Catherine tells him he is mocking her and that, "the tongues of men are full of deceits" (5.2.117-118).
Henry tells her that he is a plain man who cannot woo her with words other than to tell her he loves her.
She gives straightforward answers to him that can also be considered coy depending on how comically the scene is played.
Act V Scene 2: Act V Scene 2 Henry finally decides to speak to her in French in a effort to get her to understand him.
Catherine tells him he speaks better French than she English
He continues trying to woo her until she finally tells him that she will accept him as long as it pleases her father.
Henry accepts this as a good enough answer and tries to kiss her hand.
She stops him and tells him he should not debase himself by kissing her hand.
Henry then tells her he will instead kiss her lips, but again she stops him, claiming it is not the custom in France.
Henry tells her, "nice customs curtsy to great kings" (5.2.250) and kisses her.
Act V Scene 2: Act V Scene 2 King Charles returns along with the rest of the lords.
Burgundy asks Henry if he was teaching Catherine how to speak English, but Henry informs him he was trying to conjure up an image of his love for her.
Burgundy promises to help Henry win her heart.
Henry then asks whether Catherine will become his wife.
King Charles tells him that if that is what he desires, then he consents.
Charles quickly agrees to the article stating "Henry,...heir of France“ and Henry kisses Catherine as his future queen.
Watch movie scene
Act V Epilogue: Act V Epilogue Read V.E.521
The chorus enters and tells the audience that King Henry conquered the garden of France which he left to his son Henry VI.
Being an infant king, Henry VI had so many lords managing both kingdoms that they lost France and caused England to erupt into civil war.
The play ends on this dark note and asks the audience to find favor with what they have seen.
Watch movie scene Analysis: Comedy: Analysis: Comedy Act Five is a transformation of the history into a comedy.
The entire play ends with the promise of a marriage between Henry and Catherine, much the same way most of Shakespeare's comedies do.
Having seen Henry victorious at Agincourt, it is puzzling as to why Shakespeare included these last scenes at all.
They are mostly pointless humor that fail to further the plot, especially since Catherine was promised to Henry long before.
Shakespeare tried to surpass the previous Henry plays, and it is possible that this act is merely his way of overcompensating. Analysis: Wooing: Analysis: Wooing Many critics have called the comic wooing scene between Henry and Catherine entirely pointless.
Since Charles has already offered Catherine in marriage earlier in the play, there is no need for Henry to woo her.
However, we see here some changes in Henry that are significant.
His declaration of love is couched in plain language, prose, and marks the first time he uses prose at court.
The purpose of using prose is to be perfectly clear, and his use of prose at court shows not only his rise from the common man's world, but also his political ability to avoid uncertain statements.
Analysis: Leek Eating: Analysis: Leek Eating A key moment is when Pistol must eat the leek, a symbol of Wales.
This scene is really all about language, not objects.
The reason Pistol is forced to eat the leek is because he has been insulting Fluellen for his improper English.
The point of the scene is to make it clear that no longer does language determine a gentleman.
Instead, honor and valor are the criteria that are used to judge a man, meaning that Fluellen has the right to embarrass Pistol rather than the other way around.
Analysis: Parallel Characters: Analysis: Parallel Characters Catherine faces a similar problem to that of Hero in Much Ado About Nothing.
She defers to her father at end, saying she will be content to have Henry if it pleases her father.
This reliance on her father's will undermines her own independence, denying her the ability to decide even if she wants to, unlike Desdemona.
Analysis: Language: Analysis: Language The use of English and French by Henry and Catherine marks a union of France and England.
This union is soon destroyed.
The epilogue undermines this achievement, telling the audience that the child king Henry VI will lose everything.
In the epilogue Shakespeare shows the fictionality of both history and the play by creating a fake peace at the end, a political idea never fully realized.
Analysis: Overall: Analysis: Overall Play famous mostly because of film
Our Henry V was JFK:
Bay of Pigs
Henry V Christian King:
Never kills based on religion
Prays for father’s murder of Richard II
Then orders prisoner’s throats cut
Rejects old friend Falstaff when dying
Is Henry V a monster?