List iconHenry VI, Part 1List icon

Henry VI, Part 1
Act 4, scene 5

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With an underage boy now king of England, Henry VI, Part 1, depicts the collapse of England’s role in France, as…

Act 1, scene 1

The funeral procession for Henry V is interrupted first by a quarrel between Gloucester and Winchester and then by messengers…

Act 1, scene 2

Charles the Dauphin, leader of the French, is defeated by a small English force that is besieging Orleance. He is…

Act 1, scene 3

Gloucester visits the Tower of London, only to be denied entry by Winchester. The servants of the two nobles skirmish…

Act 1, scene 4

The master gunner of Orleance shows his boy how to fire on the English when they come to spy. The…

Act 1, scene 5

Talbot attacks, fights Pucelle, fails to defeat her, and accuses her of witchcraft. The English, defeated, retreat.

Act 1, scene 6

The French celebrate Pucelle’s victory.

Act 2, scene 1

The English forces, led by Bedford, Burgundy, and Talbot, scale the walls of Orleance and drive out the French, who…

Act 2, scene 2

The English plan a grand tomb for the dead Salisbury, in part as a monument to their recent victory. Talbot…

Act 2, scene 3

The Countess plots to capture and kill the visiting Talbot.

Act 2, scene 4

Richard Plantagenet and Somerset, having quarreled over a case at law, withdraw into a garden, where the supporters of Plantagenet…

Act 2, scene 5

Edmund Mortimer, imprisoned by Henry IV because of his strong claim to the throne, and kept in prison by Henry…

Act 3, scene 1

Gloucester and Winchester quarrel openly in Henry VI’s royal court. Their supporters, forbidden to carry weapons, have been fighting in…

Act 3, scene 2

Pucelle and four soldiers, disguised as peasants, enter Roan. From a tower within the city, Pucelle signals to the French…

Act 3, scene 3

As Talbot and Burgundy march separately to Paris for the coronation of Henry VI, Pucelle entices Burgundy to join the…

Act 3, scene 4

In Paris, a grateful Henry VI creates Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury in recompense for his victories in France. Vernon, a…

Act 4, scene 1

Henry VI is crowned. Fastolf arrives with a letter from Burgundy and, because of his earlier cowardice in battle, is…

Act 4, scene 2

As Talbot draws up his troops before Bordeaux, he learns that he is surrounded by much greater French forces.

Act 4, scene 3

Sir William Lucy urges York to help Talbot, but York refuses to march until Somerset unites his cavalry with York’s…

Act 4, scene 4

Sir William Lucy chastises Somerset for not having helped Talbot, but Somerset blames York, who has apparently refused to communicate…

Act 4, scene 5

Talbot has been joined by his son John Talbot, whom he urges to flee certain death. John Talbot refuses to…

Act 4, scene 6

Talbot again urges his son to flee and is again rebuffed.

Act 4, scene 7

Talbot, holding his dead son, dies. Sir William Lucy comes to claim their bodies from the victorious French.

Act 5, scene 1

Henry follows Gloucester’s advice to make peace with France and to agree to marry the daughter of the earl of…

Act 5, scene 2

Charles is informed that the divided English army has united and is advancing toward him.

Act 5, scene 3

As the French face likely defeat, Pucelle conjures up devils, but they refuse to help, and she is captured by…

Act 5, scene 4

Pucelle, on her way to be executed by the English, is visited by her shepherd father, whom she scorns and…

Act 5, scene 5

Suffolk persuades Henry to marry Margaret over the objections of Gloucester. Suffolk plans to control Margaret and, through her, the…

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Scene 5
Enter Talbot and John Talbot, his son.

TALBOT 
 O young John Talbot, I did send for thee
 To tutor thee in stratagems of war,
 That Talbot’s name might be in thee revived
 When sapless age and weak unable limbs
5 Should bring thy father to his drooping chair.
 But—O, malignant and ill-boding stars!—
 Now thou art come unto a feast of Death,
 A terrible and unavoided danger.
 Therefore, dear boy, mount on my swiftest horse,
10 And I’ll direct thee how thou shalt escape
 By sudden flight. Come, dally not, be gone.

171
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 5

JOHN TALBOT 
 Is my name Talbot? And am I your son?
 And shall I fly? O, if you love my mother,
 Dishonor not her honorable name
15 To make a bastard and a slave of me!
 The world will say “He is not Talbot’s blood,
 That basely fled when noble Talbot stood.”
TALBOT 
 Fly, to revenge my death if I be slain.
JOHN TALBOT 
 He that flies so will ne’er return again.
TALBOT 
20 If we both stay, we both are sure to die.
JOHN TALBOT 
 Then let me stay and, father, do you fly.
 Your loss is great; so your regard should be.
 My worth unknown, no loss is known in me.
 Upon my death, the French can little boast;
25 In yours they will; in you all hopes are lost.
 Flight cannot stain the honor you have won,
 But mine it will, that no exploit have done.
 You fled for vantage, everyone will swear;
 But if I bow, they’ll say it was for fear.
30 There is no hope that ever I will stay
 If the first hour I shrink and run away.He kneels.
 Here on my knee I beg mortality,
 Rather than life preserved with infamy.
TALBOT 
 Shall all thy mother’s hopes lie in one tomb?
JOHN TALBOT 
35 Ay, rather than I’ll shame my mother’s womb.
TALBOT 
 Upon my blessing I command thee go.
JOHN TALBOT 
 To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.

173
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 5

TALBOT 
 Part of thy father may be saved in thee.
JOHN TALBOT 
 No part of him but will be shame in me.
TALBOT 
40 Thou never hadst renown, nor canst not lose it.
JOHN TALBOT 
 Yes, your renownèd name; shall flight abuse it?
TALBOT 
 Thy father’s charge shall clear thee from that stain.
JOHN TALBOT 
 You cannot witness for me, being slain.
 If death be so apparent, then both fly.
TALBOT 
45 And leave my followers here to fight and die?
 My age was never tainted with such shame.
JOHN TALBOT 
 And shall my youth be guilty of such blame?
He rises.
 No more can I be severed from your side
 Than can yourself yourself in twain divide.
50 Stay, go, do what you will; the like do I,
 For live I will not, if my father die.
TALBOT 
 Then here I take my leave of thee, fair son,
 Born to eclipse thy life this afternoon.
 Come, side by side, together live and die,
55 And soul with soul from France to heaven fly.
They exit.