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Henry IV Part 2 Epilogue Summary

  • One of the actors (probably the guy who played Falstaff) comes on stage and delivers an Epilogue (a final speech to the audience). There's the usual hemming and hawing about how terrible the play was and how he hopes the audience will forgive him for being part of such a lousy play but maybe they'll be kind enough to clap anyway.
  • Then there's a promise to continue the story of Falstaff in the next play, along with the story of Hal's future wife, Catherine. The speaker also makes a disclaimer about how Falstaff is not based on the historic figure, Sir John Oldcastle. (Falstaff's original name was "Sir John Oldcastle" in Henry IV Part 1. But, when the descendants of the historical Sir John Oldcastle pitched a fit, Shakespeare changed the name of his disgraceful knight to "Falstaff.") Then the speaker does a jig, which is a lively and bawdy dance number.

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