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Henry V
Act 4, scene 2

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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 2
Enter the Dauphin, Orléans, Rambures, and Beaumont.

ORLÉANS 
 The sun doth gild our armor. Up, my lords.
DAUPHIN 
 Montez à cheval! My horse, varlet! Lackey! Ha!
ORLÉANS O brave spirit!
DAUPHIN Via les eaux et terre.
ORLÉANS 5Rien puis? L’air et feu?
DAUPHIN Cieux, cousin Orléans.

Enter Constable.

 Now, my Lord Constable?
CONSTABLE 
 Hark how our steeds for present service neigh.
DAUPHIN 
 Mount them, and make incision in their hides,
10 That their hot blood may spin in English eyes
 And dout them with superfluous courage. Ha!
RAMBURES 
 What, will you have them weep our horses’ blood?
 How shall we then behold their natural tears?

Enter Messenger.

MESSENGER 
 The English are embattled, you French peers.
CONSTABLE 
15 To horse, you gallant princes, straight to horse.
 Do but behold yond poor and starvèd band,
 And your fair show shall suck away their souls,
 Leaving them but the shales and husks of men.
 There is not work enough for all our hands,
20 Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins
 To give each naked curtal ax a stain,
 That our French gallants shall today draw out

159
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 2

 And sheathe for lack of sport. Let us but blow on
 them,
25 The vapor of our valor will o’erturn them.
 ’Tis positive against all exceptions, lords,
 That our superfluous lackeys and our peasants,
 Who in unnecessary action swarm
 About our squares of battle, were enough
30 To purge this field of such a hilding foe,
 Though we upon this mountain’s basis by
 Took stand for idle speculation,
 But that our honors must not. What’s to say?
 A very little little let us do,
35 And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound
 The tucket sonance and the note to mount,
 For our approach shall so much dare the field
 That England shall couch down in fear and yield.

Enter Grandpré.

GRANDPRÉ 
 Why do you stay so long, my lords of France?
40 Yond island carrions, desperate of their bones,
 Ill-favoredly become the morning field.
 Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose,
 And our air shakes them passing scornfully.
 Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggared host
45 And faintly through a rusty beaver peeps.
 The horsemen sit like fixèd candlesticks
 With torch staves in their hand, and their poor jades
 Lob down their heads, drooping the hides and hips,
 The gum down-roping from their pale dead eyes,
50 And in their pale dull mouths the gemeled bit
 Lies foul with chawed grass, still and motionless.
 And their executors, the knavish crows,
 Fly o’er them all, impatient for their hour.
 Description cannot suit itself in words
55 To demonstrate the life of such a battle
 In life so lifeless, as it shows itself.

161
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 3

CONSTABLE 
 They have said their prayers, and they stay for death.
DAUPHIN 
 Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits,
 And give their fasting horses provender,
60 And after fight with them?
CONSTABLE 
 I stay but for my guard. On, to the field!
 I will the banner from a trumpet take
 And use it for my haste. Come, come away.
 The sun is high, and we outwear the day.
They exit.