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Henry IV Part 2 Act 5, Scene 1 Summary

  • At Justice Shallow's country estate in Gloucestershire, Bardolph and Falstaff have dropped by to make a house call to Falstaff's old law school chum. When the scene opens, Justice Shallow is being a good host and insists that Falstaff spend the night instead of travelling on to London.
  • Falstaff does the "aw shucks" routine and pretends he doesn't want to impose. (We know better, right? Earlier, Falstaff promised to swing by Shallow's place after finishing up his military duties at Gaultree Forest in order to scam the old guy.)
  • When Shallow's servant, Davy, enters with some papers, Shallow does a little multitasking. He attends to some household issues, like giving orders for the preparation of dinner, while Davy pesters him about some local legal issues involving some of his friends.
  • Davy asks Justice Shallow (who is a local law official) if he would please take it easy on his friend, William Visor, who has gotten into a bit of legal trouble. Shallow reassures his servant that his friend will be okay and sends him on his way.
  • Shallow says that Falstaff, Bardolph, and the Page are all welcome in his home and leads the group inside. Justice Silence, who has been silent this whole time, tags along.
  • Falstaff lingers alone on stage for a moment – just long enough to mock Justice Shallow for being a "foolish justice." Shallow is way too nice to his servants and acts just like them. Falstaff can't wait to tell Prince Hal all about the silly old goat – the stories will keep Hal rolling with laughter for a good long time.
  • Falstaff runs inside when Shallow calls to him.

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