HV • scene summary


0-Prologue: metatheatricality and propaganda

"this wooden O"; invocation of muse of fire; heroic representation; symbol's miracle "crooked figure (O) may attest in little place a million"; we are ciphers; one represents many; imagination magnifies; collaboration of audience; heros, gods and monarchs brought on stage; both time and space's elasticity; insistence on spectacle in mind's eye; imagery both of confining and of expansion; imagination and politics; military theatre

i. in private: Bishops Canterbury and Ely plot to support war to protect their properties from commons

contrast of tone; continuity with IIHIV-busy giddy minds with foreign wars

center of scene: religious/idealistic encomium to the king, bracketed by realpolitik

ii. in public: Lords urge war and provide justification; affront from the Dauphin and Henry's reply

salique law; parable of the bees; scotland under control

from boring legalism to tennis game of ramming it down throat; war as game


0- Prologue--(more fire; stirring war fever)

Now all the youth of England are on fire --

What mightst thou do today

French fear and conspiracy

i. Boar's Head crew; another ironic contrast

mocks militaristic enthusiasm in Nym and Pistol; readiness to duel; mindless aggression and egotism; boasts and b rags

sympathy for Falstaff's death; hostility to king for causing it

ii. Apprehending the traitors

king's nobility and policy; admirable combination; being and seeming; betrayers rejoice at their own entrapment [subversion supports authority];

God on our side; war cries: no king of England, if not King of France

iii. Falstaff in his death: God called also , babbling of green fields

iv. France

Dauphin mocks Henry so King can praise him,

followed by Henry's Tamburlainlike challenge through Exeter


0--vivid account of fleet's departure; getting youth to enlist;

urging flight of imagination and involvement in war [cf. Hotspur--the imagination of some great exploit']

i. Harfleur: Harry's oratory

Tiger,tiger imagery--blast of war demands horribility; hormonal goad; erection

Invocation of fathers, fatherland, mothers, absence of class distinction

noble luster in the basest eye; contrast to distinctions in counting war dead

Cry, "God for Harry, England and Saint george" --all allegiances; color war

ii. Harfleur--the soldiers

Mockery: they wont go; hide in rhetoric or the boy's straight fear;

Boy's speech on corruption of these soldiers

Fluellen wants academic discourse over the wars; macmorris and Jamy dispute nationality

iii. King's bloody threat wins the battle

iv. Katharine's English lesson

she too yields to the barbaric sound--foot, count--brutality wins

v. French put themselves down as impotent; then brag

vi. Report of battle at bridge; Eng. triumph; Fortune's role; Bardolph's executed; Mountjoy's challenge

vii. French camp--their decadence and boredom; obscenity of the nobles; Dauphin and his horse

belongs in Act IV


0--description of battle fires; overconfidence of French; fear of English comforted by " a little touch of Harry in the night."

political and interpretive principle: "mind true things by what their mockeries be"

the battle over men's spirits is where victory is won; now mettle is issue, before it was justification

i. English camp

King makes occasion out of adversity to address negative odds and officer's fears; also spies; keeps touch with the populace, but in secret

With Bates Court and Williams-in disguise

Tells them King is human and needs to be encouraged to encourage his men. NB principle of rule

King battles with their cynicism--they'd like to be home; King says this is best place to be, as long as cause is just

Question of just cause and subject's duty vs. subject's interest gets sidetracked by king into religious question of salvation; Williams stays on track and concedes religious point but not secular one and ends up in challenging the king to duel

King's soliloquy

hard condition/ twin-born with greatness"--the burden of rule

king has only ceremony to help him bear the burden=place, degree and form/ creating awe and fear in other men

king must keep watch to maintain the peace while peasant happily sleeps

prayer to god of battles

steel soldiers hearts; think not on guilt of usurped crown

penitence he can do is nothing worth since it implores pardon--no mention of keeping the reward; compare to Claudius' prayer

ii. French camp--boast before battle

iii. English camp: fear and courage

King speaks: occasione: the few numbers will heighten the honor [Hotspur talk]; future fame and glory; privilege to be here

Challenge to Mountjoy

iv. Battlefield

Pistol taking ransom--opposite to honor; Frenchman begs for life

v. French in retreat

vi. Report of Suffok's heroic death; king orders prisoners killed

vii. French immediately kill the boys--battle's conclusion

Gower and Fluellen change the order, claiming that prisoners killed afterward;

evocations of Alexander the Pig; pig is great; Alexander killed his best friend just like Harry

Harry now begins to wax angry; the French surrender

King engineers battle between Fluellen and Williams over glove; accused of being traitor; then makes peace

is this symbol of the war?

Williams refuses to take money

Juxtaposed to body count; working stiffs dont count; all glory to G


0--allusion to Essex; glorious triumph in London; our gracious Empress mentioned; back to France

i. Pistol vs. Fluellen; good vs. bad soldier

ii. two doors entrance of English and French; ceremonial scene

public resolution; griefs to love; war to peace

the plot of war and the plot of comedy

Burgundy's encomium to peace; rejection of war

King: war bought with peace

Woman's voice may do some good; Katharine is capital demand

Henry and Kath. courtship

protests plainness (loquaciously)

soldier is king; begot in civil war

appropriation of France and her; conquest

indecent but amiable talk of procreation

kiss on lips against custom; he is maker of custom

official consent and celebration

Epilogue--after achieving worlds best garden, left it to son who lost it and order in England

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