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Henry V
Act 3, scene 1

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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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Scene 1
Enter the King of England, Exeter, Bedford, and
Gloucester. Alarum. Enter Soldiers with scaling
ladders at Harfleur.


KING HENRY 
 Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once
 more,
 Or close the wall up with our English dead!
 In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
5 As modest stillness and humility,
 But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
 Then imitate the action of the tiger:
 Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
 Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage,
10 Then lend the eye a terrible aspect,
 Let it pry through the portage of the head
 Like the brass cannon, let the brow o’erwhelm it
 As fearfully as doth a gallèd rock

87
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 2

 O’erhang and jutty his confounded base
15 Swilled with the wild and wasteful ocean.
 Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide,
 Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
 To his full height. On, on, you noblest English,
 Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof,
20 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.
25 Be copy now to men of grosser blood
 And teach them how to war. And you, good
 yeomen,
 Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
 The mettle of your pasture. Let us swear
30 That you are worth your breeding, which I doubt
 not,
 For there is none of you so mean and base
 That hath not noble luster in your eyes.
 I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
35 Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot.
 Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
 Cry “God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”
Alarum, and chambers go off.
They exit.