Henry IV Part 2
Henry IV Part 2 Act 5, Scene 3 Summary
- Meanwhile, back at Justice Shallow's country estate in Gloucestershire, Falstaff and his men enjoy a delicious meal (along with Shallow's sidekick, Justice Silence, of course). The motto for the evening is "eat, drink, and be merry."
- Falstaff admires the delectable spread and Shallow makes small talk about his apple orchard and the home grown food on the table.
- Justice Silence, who's drunk, sings a bawdy song about "lusty lads" and "cheap flesh." (That's interesting. The guy hardly ever talks but when he does finally open his mouth, he turns out to be a dirty man.)
- Falstaff's pleased as punch about Shallow's naughty little outburst and drinks a toast to the old man.
- Davy, the servant, pours another round of wine and Silence breaks into song again. This time, the ditty is about being merry during Shrovetide. FYI: Shrovetide is a time of festivity when people can cut loose and have fun before Lent because Lent requires that they spend all their time in prayer, self-denial, and penitence for a period of time that leads up to the celebration of Easter. Shakespeare's tipping us off that even though Falstaff's been cutting loose and living his life like it's one big Shrovetide festivity, the partying is definitely coming to an end soon.
- Falstaff says he's shocked that Silence knows how to party and Silence insists that he's been wild a time or two in his day.
- More eating, drinking, and merrymaking ensues.
- Davy announces that Pistol has arrived. Then Pistol enters and says Falstaff's "now one of the greatest men in this realm" because his "tender lambkin," Prince Hal, is now King Henry V.
- Falstaff doesn't want to waste any more time in Gloucestershire – he orders his men to saddle up so he can ride to London, ASAP. He thinks that Hal will want to see him right away and he's also psyched that "the laws of England" will now be at his "commandment." In other words, Falstaff thinks that he's going to be able to run amok now that Hal's in charge so the Lord Chief Justice better watch out.