List iconHenry V:
Act 3, scene 3
List icon

Henry V
Act 3, scene 3



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…


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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Quill icon
Scene 3
Enter the King of England and all his train
before the gates.

KING HENRY, to the men of Harfleur 
 How yet resolves the Governor of the town?
 This is the latest parle we will admit.
 Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves
 Or, like to men proud of destruction,
5 Defy us to our worst. For, as I am a soldier,
 A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,
 If I begin the batt’ry once again,
 I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur
 Till in her ashes she lie burièd.
10 The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,
 And the fleshed soldier, rough and hard of heart,
 In liberty of bloody hand, shall range
 With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass
 Your fresh fair virgins and your flow’ring infants.
15 What is it then to me if impious war,
 Arrayed in flames like to the prince of fiends,
 Do with his smirched complexion all fell feats
 Enlinked to waste and desolation?
 What is ’t to me, when you yourselves are cause,
20 If your pure maidens fall into the hand
 Of hot and forcing violation?
 What rein can hold licentious wickedness
 When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
 We may as bootless spend our vain command

Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 3

25 Upon th’ enragèd soldiers in their spoil
 As send precepts to the Leviathan
 To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
 Take pity of your town and of your people
 Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command,
30 Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace
 O’erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
 Of heady murder, spoil, and villainy.
 If not, why, in a moment look to see
 The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
35 Desire the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters,
 Your fathers taken by the silver beards
 And their most reverend heads dashed to the walls,
 Your naked infants spitted upon pikes
 Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
40 Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
 At Herod’s bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
 What say you? Will you yield and this avoid
 Or, guilty in defense, be thus destroyed?

Enter Governor.

 Our expectation hath this day an end.
45 The Dauphin, whom of succors we entreated,
 Returns us that his powers are yet not ready
 To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great king,
 We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.
 Enter our gates, dispose of us and ours,
50 For we no longer are defensible.
 Open your gates.Governor exits.
 Come, uncle Exeter,
 Go you and enter Harfleur. There remain,
 And fortify it strongly ’gainst the French.
55 Use mercy to them all for us, dear uncle.

Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 4

 The winter coming on and sickness growing
 Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.
 Tonight in Harfleur will we be your guest.
 Tomorrow for the march are we addressed.
Flourish, and enter the town.