List iconHenry IV, Part 1:
Act 5, scene 2
List icon

Henry IV, Part 1
Act 5, scene 2



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry IV, Part 1, culminates in the battle of Shrewsbury between the king’s army and rebels seeking his crown. The…

Act 1, scene 1

King Henry meets with his advisers to discuss his proposed crusade to the Holy Land, but the discussion turns instead…

Act 1, scene 2

Prince Hal and Sir John Falstaff taunt each other, Hal warning Falstaff that he will one day be hanged as…

Act 1, scene 3

King Henry meets with Hotspur, Hotspur’s father (Northumberland), and his uncle (Worcester) to demand that Hotspur yield his prisoners to…

Act 2, scene 1

Gadshill, the “setter” for Falstaff and his fellow thieves, seeks information at an inn about the travelers whom they plan…

Act 2, scene 2

Falstaff, Peto, Bardolph, and Gadshill rob the travelers and are, in turn, robbed by Prince Hal and Poins in disguise.

Act 2, scene 3

Hotspur reads a letter from a nobleman who refuses to join the rebellion against King Henry. Lady Percy enters to…

Act 2, scene 4

At a tavern in Eastcheap, Prince Hal and Poins amuse themselves by tormenting a young waiter while waiting for Falstaff…

Act 3, scene 1

Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and the leader of the Welsh rebels, Glendower, meet in Wales to make final the terms of…

Act 3, scene 2

Prince Hal reconciles himself with his father by swearing to fight the rebels and to defeat Hotspur.

Act 3, scene 3

Falstaff tries to swindle the Hostess of the inn. Prince Hal offers Falstaff a command in the infantry.

Act 4, scene 1

Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas learn that Hotspur’s father, Northumberland, is too sick to join them in the coming battle. They…

Act 4, scene 2

Falstaff discloses to the audience how he has misused his commission as an officer to take money from men eager…

Act 4, scene 3

As Hotspur argues with his fellow commanders about when to fight, they are visited by Sir Walter Blunt, who brings…

Act 4, scene 4

The archbishop of York and Sir Michael, who sympathize with Hotspur, debate the chances of his success against the king’s…

Act 5, scene 1

Worcester and Vernon visit the king’s camp, where Worcester repeats the grievances that he says have led to the rebellion….

Act 5, scene 2

Worcester lies to Hotspur, telling him that the king made no offer of pardon and is ready to begin the…

Act 5, scene 3

The battle begins. Douglas kills Blunt, who is disguised as King Henry. Falstaff enters alone to disclose to the audience…

Act 5, scene 4

Prince Hal saves King Henry from death at the hands of Douglas. Hal then meets Hotspur. While they are fighting,…

Act 5, scene 5

The king’s forces having won, King Henry condemns Worcester and Vernon to death, and the king and his supporters prepare…

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Scene 2
Enter Worcester and Sir Richard Vernon.

 O no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard,
 The liberal and kind offer of the King.

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 5. SC. 2

 ’Twere best he did.
WORCESTER  Then are we all undone.
5 It is not possible, it cannot be
 The King should keep his word in loving us.
 He will suspect us still and find a time
 To punish this offense in other faults.
 Suspicion all our lives shall be stuck full of
10 eyes,
 For treason is but trusted like the fox,
 Who, never so tame, so cherished and locked up,
 Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
 Look how we can, or sad or merrily,
15 Interpretation will misquote our looks,
 And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
 The better cherished still the nearer death.
 My nephew’s trespass may be well forgot;
 It hath the excuse of youth and heat of blood,
20 And an adopted name of privilege—
 A harebrained Hotspur governed by a spleen.
 All his offenses live upon my head
 And on his father’s. We did train him on,
 And his corruption being ta’en from us,
25 We as the spring of all shall pay for all.
 Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know
 In any case the offer of the King.
 Deliver what you will; I’ll say ’tis so.

Enter Hotspur, Douglas, and their army.

 Here comes your cousin.
HOTSPUR30, to Douglas My uncle is returned.
 Deliver up my Lord of Westmoreland.—
 Uncle, what news?
 The King will bid you battle presently.

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 5. SC. 2

DOUGLAS , to Hotspur 
 Defy him by the Lord of Westmoreland.
35 Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
 Marry, and shall, and very willingly. Douglas exits.
 There is no seeming mercy in the King.
 Did you beg any? God forbid!
 I told him gently of our grievances,
40 Of his oath-breaking, which he mended thus
 By now forswearing that he is forsworn.
 He calls us “rebels,” “traitors,” and will scourge
 With haughty arms this hateful name in us.

Enter Douglas.

 Arm, gentlemen, to arms. For I have thrown
45 A brave defiance in King Henry’s teeth,
 And Westmoreland, that was engaged, did bear it,
 Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.
 The Prince of Wales stepped forth before the King,
 And, nephew, challenged you to single fight.
50 O, would the quarrel lay upon our heads,
 And that no man might draw short breath today
 But I and Harry Monmouth! Tell me, tell me,
 How showed his tasking? Seemed it in contempt?
 No, by my soul. I never in my life
55 Did hear a challenge urged more modestly,
 Unless a brother should a brother dare
 To gentle exercise and proof of arms.

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 5. SC. 2

 He gave you all the duties of a man,
 Trimmed up your praises with a princely tongue,
60 Spoke your deservings like a chronicle,
 Making you ever better than his praise
 By still dispraising praise valued with you,
 And, which became him like a prince indeed,
 He made a blushing cital of himself,
65 And chid his truant youth with such a grace
 As if he mastered there a double spirit
 Of teaching and of learning instantly.
 There did he pause, but let me tell the world:
 If he outlive the envy of this day,
70 England did never owe so sweet a hope
 So much misconstrued in his wantonness.
 Cousin, I think thou art enamorèd
 On his follies. Never did I hear
 Of any prince so wild a liberty.
75 But be he as he will, yet once ere night
 I will embrace him with a soldier’s arm
 That he shall shrink under my courtesy.—
 Arm, arm with speed, and, fellows, soldiers,
80 Better consider what you have to do
 Than I that have not well the gift of tongue
 Can lift your blood up with persuasion.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER My lord, here are letters for you.
HOTSPUR I cannot read them now.—
85 O gentlemen, the time of life is short;
 To spend that shortness basely were too long
 If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
 Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
 An if we live, we live to tread on kings;
90 If die, brave death, when princes die with us.

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 5. SC. 3

 Now, for our consciences, the arms are fair
 When the intent of bearing them is just.

Enter another Messenger.

 My lord, prepare. The King comes on apace.
 I thank him that he cuts me from my tale,
95 For I profess not talking. Only this:
 Let each man do his best. And here draw I a sword,
 Whose temper I intend to stain
 With the best blood that I can meet withal
 In the adventure of this perilous day.
100 Now, Esperance! Percy! And set on.
 Sound all the lofty instruments of war,
 And by that music let us all embrace,
 For, heaven to Earth, some of us never shall
 A second time do such a courtesy.
Here they embrace. The trumpets sound.
They exit.