List iconHenry IV, Part 2List icon

Henry IV, Part 2
Induction

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry IV, Part 2, continues the story of Henry IV, Part I. Northumberland learns that his son Hotspur is dead, and…

Induction

Following the battle of Shrewsbury (where King Henry and Prince Hal were victorious and Hotspur killed), Rumor spreads the false…

Act 1, scene 1

Northumberland, who had pleaded illness as an excuse for not appearing at the battle of Shrewsbury, learns that his son,…

Act 1, scene 2

Sir John Falstaff is confronted by the Lord Chief Justice. Since Falstaff has come away from Shrewsbury with the reputation…

Act 1, scene 3

At York, the Archbishop discusses with Mowbray, Hastings, and Lord Bardolph whether they can defeat the king’s forces if their…

Act 2, scene 1

Sir John is arrested for the debt he owes Mistress Quickly. He persuades her to drop the charges and to…

Act 2, scene 2

Learning that Falstaff will be dining that night in Eastcheap, Prince Hal and Poins decide to disguise themselves as waiters…

Act 2, scene 3

Northumberland is persuaded by his daughter-in-law, Hotspur’s widow, to abandon the other rebels.

Act 2, scene 4

At Mistress Quickly’s inn in Eastcheap, a fight erupts after Falstaff ’s ensign, Pistol, insults Doll Tearsheet. The disguised Prince Hal…

Act 3, scene 1

An ill and anxious King Henry IV consults with Warwick.

Act 3, scene 2

On his journey through Gloucestershire, Falstaff selects recruits for the army and decides that, on his return, he will fleece…

Act 4, scene 1

The leaders of the rebellion reach Gaultree Forest, where they present their grievances to Westmoreland. After Prince John promises redress…

Act 4, scene 2

Falstaff meets a rebel knight, who surrenders to him. When Prince John reproaches Falstaff for his late arrival, Falstaff turns…

Act 4, scene 3

Just after receiving the good news about the defeat of all the rebel forces, Henry IV falls into a swoon….

Act 5, scene 1

Falstaff observes Shallow and his servants in order to be ready to entertain Prince Hal with amusing stories.

Act 5, scene 2

Prince Hal reassures an anxious Lord Chief Justice.

Act 5, scene 3

On the news of Henry IV’s death, Falstaff and Shallow set off joyfully for London.

Act 5, scene 4

Doll Tearsheet is arrested.

Act 5, scene 5

The newly crowned King Henry V keeps his word to the Lord Chief Justice.

Epilogue

The speaker apologizes for the play and promises another play with Falstaff in it.

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INDUCTION
Enter Rumor, painted full of tongues.

RUMOR 
 Open your ears, for which of you will stop
 The vent of hearing when loud Rumor speaks?
 I, from the orient to the drooping west,
 Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
5 The acts commencèd on this ball of earth.
 Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
 The which in every language I pronounce,
 Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
 I speak of peace while covert enmity
10 Under the smile of safety wounds the world.
 And who but Rumor, who but only I,
 Make fearful musters and prepared defense
 Whiles the big year, swoll’n with some other grief,
 Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
15 And no such matter? Rumor is a pipe
 Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
 And of so easy and so plain a stop
 That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
 The still-discordant wav’ring multitude,
20 Can play upon it. But what need I thus
 My well-known body to anatomize
 Among my household? Why is Rumor here?
 I run before King Harry’s victory,
7

9
Henry IV, Part 2
INDUCTION

 Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury
25 Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops,
 Quenching the flame of bold rebellion
 Even with the rebels’ blood. But what mean I
 To speak so true at first? My office is
 To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell
30 Under the wrath of noble Hotspur’s sword,
 And that the King before the Douglas’ rage
 Stooped his anointed head as low as death.
 This have I rumored through the peasant towns
 Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
35 And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
 Where Hotspur’s father, old Northumberland,
 Lies crafty-sick. The posts come tiring on,
 And not a man of them brings other news
 Than they have learnt of me. From Rumor’s
40 tongues
 They bring smooth comforts false, worse than
 true wrongs.
Rumor exits.