Posts Tagged ‘Shakespeare’

Henry V – Act Two Scene Three

Back in Eastcheap it is a sombre mood as Hostess Quickly relates the death of Falstaff.


Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in
heaven or in hell!


Nay, sure, he’s not in hell: he’s in Arthur’s
bosom, if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom. A’ made
a finer end and went away an it had been any
christom child; a’ parted even just between twelve
and one, even at the turning o’ the tide: for after
I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with
flowers and smile upon his fingers’ ends, I knew
there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as
a pen, and a’ babbled of green fields. ‘How now,
sir John!’ quoth I ‘what, man! be o’ good
cheer.’ So a’ cried out ‘God, God, God!’ three or
four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him a’
should not think of God; I hoped there was no need
to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So
a’ bade me lay more clothes on his feet: I put my
hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as
cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and
they were as cold as any stone, and so upward and
upward, and all was as cold as any stone.

They reminisce about Falstaff


Do you not remember, a’ saw a flea stick upon
Bardolph’s nose, and a’ said it was a black soul
burning in hell-fire?


Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire:
that’s all the riches I got in his service.



They depart for Southampton and then the War in France


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King Henry V

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Henry V – Act Two scene Two

Chorus (Act two Prologue)

………………France hath in thee found out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,
One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,
Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third,
Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland,
Have, for the gilt of France,–O guilt indeed!
Confirm’d conspiracy with fearful France;
And by their hands this grace of kings must die,
If hell and treason hold their promises,
Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.

The treachery mentioned by the chorus has been uncovered and the King is ready to unmask them, but first he toys with them.   He pardons a man “That rail’d against our person” and he asks the opinions of the three traitors

Richard, Earl of Cambridge

Lord Scroop of Masham

Grey of Northumberland

They all suggest that the King should not pardon him but punish him accordingly.

Let him be punish’d, sovereign, lest example
Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind

With heavy Irony the King replies


Alas, your too much love and care of me
Are heavy orisons ‘gainst this poor wretch!
If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
Shall not be wink’d at, how shall we stretch our eye
When capital crimes, chew’d, swallow’d and digested,
Appear before us?

The traitors have all lately been asked to be commissioners and now Henry gives them their papers to read. In them are written the accusation of their guilt. They beg for mercy.


The mercy that was quick in us but late,
By your own counsel is suppress’d and kill’d:
You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;
For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
As dogs upon their masters, worrying you

To Lord Scroop, Henry is most upset as he was a close friend and confidant to the King


May it be possible, that foreign hire
Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
That might annoy my finger? ’tis so strange,
That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it

They are arrested and sentenced to death. Now Henry can go to war in France safe in the knowledge this conspiracy is uncovered.


Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance:
No king of England, if not king of France.

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Henry V – act Two scene One

After transporting us to Southampton we have Act two Scene One set in…London, near the Tavern at Eastcheap.  The final two lines of the act two Chorus seem to be added in to allow for this scene.

Chorus (Act two, Prologue)

But, till the king come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.

“We will be in Southampton as I promised but not till the King comes onstage.”

So, in London, we meet Bardolph and Nym from the Henry IV plays. Nym and Pistol have had a falling out as Pistol has married Mistress Quickly, (also from the Henry IV plays and Merry wives of Windsor) betrothed to Nym.


What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?


For my part, I care not: I say little; but when
time shall serve, there shall be smiles; but that
shall be as it may. I dare not fight; but I will
wink and hold out mine iron: it is a simple one; but
what though? it will toast cheese, and it will
endure cold as another man’s sword will: and
there’s an end.


I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and
we’ll be all three sworn brothers to France: let it
be so, good Corporal Nym

Enter Pistol and his wife, Nell Quickly, and a quarrel is started with some elaborate curses from Pistol


Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear’d cur of Iceland! 


O braggart vile and damned furious wight

O hound of Crete, think’st thou my spouse to get?

Bardolph tries to keep the peace between them


Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to
France together: why the devil should we keep
knives to cut one another’s throats

The Hostess tells them that Falstaff, promised to appear at the end of Henry IV part 2 is dying.

Henry IV Part 2 (Epilogue)

One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too
much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will
continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make
you merry with fair Katharine of France: where, for
any thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat,
unless already a’ be killed with your hard

Nell Quickly tells them to come back to the tavern


As ever you came of women, come in quickly to Sir
John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning
quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to
behold. Sweet men, come to him.


The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that’s
the even of it.


Nym, thou hast spoke the right;
His heart is fracted and corroborate.


The king is a good king: but it must be as it may;
he passes some humours and careers.


Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live.

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This is an image of the commemorative plaque o...

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Away from Henry V for a moment.

Other news, Scientists have applied for permission to exhume Shakespeare’s grave.


What do you think? Should they disturb him and find out how he died and even possibly, what he looked like?

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Henry V – Act one Scene Two

Henry has called his parliament together. He asks for the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Henry V

My learned lord, we pray you to proceed
And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salique that they have in France
Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim:
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,
Or nicely charge your understanding soul
With opening titles miscreate, whose right
Suits not in native colours with the truth;
For God doth know how many now in health
Shall drop their blood in approbation
Of what your reverence shall incite us to.
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake our sleeping sword of war:

Canterbury then launches into a complicated reason that negates the Salique law. The conclusion is that the law is not applicable in France and there is no bar to Henry’s claim for the French crown. He then encourages Henry to go to war. As we know from the first scene, his motives are far from innocent.

Henry warns that if the invade France they need to protect England  from the Scots


We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,
But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us;
For you shall read that my great-grandfather
Never went with his forces into France
But that the Scot on his unfurnish’d kingdom
Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,
With ample and brim fulness of his force,
Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,
Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;
That England, being empty of defence,
Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood

Canterbury then has a wonderful speech comparing honey bees to the kingdom.


Therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavour in continual motion;
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience: for so work the honey-bees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king and officers of sorts;
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home,
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad,
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds,
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor;
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold,
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o’er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,
That many things, having full reference
To one consent, may work contrariously:
As many arrows, loosed several ways,
Come to one mark; as many ways meet in one town;
As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea;
As many lines close in the dial’s centre;
So may a thousand actions, once afoot.
End in one purpose, and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege

Henry is convinced

Henry V

 Now are we well resolved; and, by God’s help,
And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
France being ours, we’ll bend it to our awe,
Or break it all to pieces:

He calls in the messenger from the Dauphin. (French heir)

Henry V

Tell us the Dauphin’s mind.

First Ambassador

Thus, then, in few.
Your highness, lately sending into France,
Did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right
Of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third.
In answer of which claim, the prince our master
Says that you savour too much of your youth,
And bids you be advised there’s nought in France
That can be with a nimble galliard won;
You cannot revel into dukedoms there.
He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit,
This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this,
Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim
Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.


What treasure, uncle?


Tennis-balls, my liege

The Dauphin, hearing about the young prince Hal, as seen in Henry IV part 1 & 2, doesn’t realise the change he has undergone after taking the crown, as pointed out in the first scene.


We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;
His present and your pains we thank you for:
When we have march’d our rackets to these balls,
We will, in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler
That all the courts of France will be disturb’d
With chaces. And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat of England;
And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
To barbarous licence; as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness
When I do rouse me in my throne of France:
For that I have laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his
Hath turn’d his balls to gun-stones; and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them: for many a thousand widows
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands;
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal; and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on,
To venge me as I may and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallow’d cause.
So get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin
His jest will savour but of shallow wit,
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.
Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well

England prepares for war with France.

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Title page of the first quarto (1600)

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Henry V

Act one Scene One The Prologue…..

We go to the theatre, we buy a programme and take our seats to see the History Play of Henry V and a man comes out and speaks directly to us. Not just speaks to us but asks us to help the company with the play. We are no longer “seeing” a play, we are now a part of it. We have a role to play to make it successful. 


O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth;
For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o’er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.


The Chorus in Romeo and Juliet gives us information to the play we are about to see but doesn’t involve us like Henry V

To reinforce his request, he will reappear throughout the play.

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"King Lear and the Fool in the Storm"...

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Storms in Shakespeare

Julius Caesar is believed to be the first play performed at the Globe Theatre and includes the great storm scene which lasts over Act one Scene 3 and Act two Scene one.

Other storm scenes include

  • King Lear
  • The Tempest
  • Othello
  • Macbeth

Are there any other storm scenes in Shakespeare?

Which is the most effective?

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