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Henry V
Act 3, chorus

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Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry V begins at the English court, where the young king is persuaded that he has a claim to the throne…

Prologue

The Chorus wishes for a far greater stage, actors, and audience. He apologizes for the scanty resources that are available…

Act 1, scene 1

The Bishop of Canterbury informs the Bishop of Ely of a bill threatening Church revenues and of a plan to…

Act 1, scene 2

At the King’s request, Canterbury provides an extensive interpretation of French law to support Henry’s claim to the French throne….

Act 2, chorus

The Chorus announces the enthusiastic support of English youth for Henry’s French campaign, but also advises that the French have…

Act 2, scene 1

King Henry’s former tavern companion Bardolph prevents Pistol and Nym from fighting over Hostess Quickly, Pistol’s wife. They are interrupted…

Act 2, scene 2

Henry, informed of the treachery of three of his friends, confronts them with their crimes. They throw themselves on his…

Act 2, scene 3

The tavern crew—Bardolph, Pistol, Nym, and the Boy—join the Hostess in mourning the dead Falstaff and, saying good-bye to the…

Act 2, scene 4

The King of France and his court plan their defense against Henry’s invasion. Exeter arrives to present the King with…

Act 3, chorus

The Chorus describes the embarkation of Henry’s fleet for France, Henry’s preparations to besiege the town of Harfleur, and the…

Act 3, scene 1

Henry delivers an oration to inspire his troops to take Harfleur.

Act 3, scene 2

Bardolph, Pistol, Nym, and the Boy withdraw from the assault on Harfleur. They are driven back to it by Captain…

Act 3, scene 3

Henry threatens the men of Harfleur with the destruction of the town and its population if they do not yield…

Act 3, scene 4

An old gentlewoman, Alice, begins to teach English to Katherine, Princess of France.

Act 3, scene 5

The French nobles speak of their shame at the success of Henry’s invasion. The French King plans to block Henry’s…

Act 3, scene 6

Captains Fluellen and Gower meet Pistol, who pleads for Bardolph, sentenced to die for robbery. Fluellen refuses to intervene and…

Act 3, scene 7

On the eve of battle, the French nobles, confident of their army’s superiority, engage in verbal competition.

Act 4, chorus

The Chorus describes the confident French and anxious English armies on the night before the battle of Agincourt, and portrays…

Act 4, scene 1

Henry borrows Erpingham’s cloak and, in this disguise, passes through his camp, meeting Pistol, overhearing a conversation between Fluellen and…

Act 4, scene 2

The French nobles, about to fight, lament that the English are so few and so weak.

Act 4, scene 3

Henry delivers an oration to his troops urging them on to win glory in the battle. Montjoy again comes to…

Act 4, scene 4

A French soldier surrenders to Pistol, who threatens him with death until the soldier promises to pay a ransom of…

Act 4, scene 5

The French nobles, shamed in their defeat, decide to die fighting.

Act 4, scene 6

Henry, in doubt about the outcome of the battle, hears of York’s and Suffolk’s deaths, and then, when a French…

Act 4, scene 7

Fluellen, in conversation with Gower, compares Henry to the classical world-conqueror Alexander the Great. Montjoy arrives to concede the French…

Act 4, scene 8

Williams and Fluellen are prevented from fighting by Warwick and Gloucester. Henry arrives and accuses Williams of promising to strike…

Act 5, chorus

The Chorus describes the great welcome accorded the English army when it returns home, the visit by the Holy Roman…

Act 5, scene 1

Fluellen avenges Pistol’s insults by making Pistol eat a leek. Pistol, humiliated, plans to return to England in the guise…

Act 5, scene 2

The Duke of Burgundy has brought about a meeting between French and English to sign a peace treaty. Henry delegates…

Act 5, epilogue

The Chorus reminds the audience that Henry died very young, leaving the kingdom to his infant son, during whose reign…

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Enter Chorus.

CHORUS 
 Thus with imagined wing our swift scene flies
 In motion of no less celerity
 Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
 The well-appointed king at Dover pier
5 Embark his royalty, and his brave fleet
 With silken streamers the young Phoebus
 fanning.
 Play with your fancies and in them behold,
 Upon the hempen tackle, shipboys climbing.
10 Hear the shrill whistle, which doth order give
 To sounds confused. Behold the threaden sails,
 Borne with th’ invisible and creeping wind,
 Draw the huge bottoms through the furrowed sea,
 Breasting the lofty surge. O, do but think
15 You stand upon the rivage and behold
 A city on th’ inconstant billows dancing,
 For so appears this fleet majestical,
 Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow!
 Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy,
20 And leave your England, as dead midnight still,
 Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,
 Either past or not arrived to pith and puissance,
 For who is he whose chin is but enriched
 With one appearing hair that will not follow
83

85
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 1

25 These culled and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?
 Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege;
 Behold the ordnance on their carriages,
 With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
 Suppose th’ Ambassador from the French comes
30 back,
 Tells Harry that the King doth offer him
 Katherine his daughter and with her, to dowry,
 Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
 The offer likes not, and the nimble gunner
35 With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,
Alarum, and chambers go off.
 And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
 And eke out our performance with your mind.
He exits.