Henry IV Part 2
Rules and Order Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
When ever yet was your appeal denied?
Wherein have you been galled by the king?
What peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you,
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
Of forged rebellion with a seal divine
And consecrate commotion's bitter edge?
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
My brother general, the commonwealth,
To brother born an household cruelty,
I make my quarrel in particular. (4.1.3)
When Westmoreland asks the Archbishop of York about his beef with the king, York evades the question. In fact, we never learn what it is, exactly, that the rebels want from King Henry. (There's a list of grievances, but we're never told what's on it.) Instead of offering specifics, York says he's fighting on behalf of his "brother" or, the "commonwealth" in general. Yet, this doesn't hold much water because York is always criticizing the commonwealth. As an example, he calls the people a "common dog" that eats its own vomit (1.3.4). A more likely reason for York's rebellion is a desire for power.
Be merry, be merry, my wife has all;
For women are shrews, both short and tall:
'Tis merry in hall when beards wag all,
And welcome merry Shrove-tide.
Be merry, be merry. (5.3.2)
Justice Silence doesn't talk much but once he's had a few glasses of wine at Justice Shallow's dinner table, he starts belting out rowdy tunes. (When Falstaff hears this, he's pleased as punch that the justice has cut loose.) What's interesting about this little ditty is the reference to "merry Shrove-tide." Shrovetide is a time of festivity when people can cut loose and party before Lent (since 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 seems to be tipping us off that, even though Falstaff and his crew have been cutting loose and living life like it's one big Shrovetide festivity, the partying is definitely coming to an end soon.
[…] the laws of England are at
my commandment. Blessed are they that have been my
friends; and woe to my lord chief-justice! (5.3.15).
When Falstaff learns that Henry IV is dead and Hal has been named King Henry V, he thinks that his friendship with Hal will give him free license to run amok. Not only that, but he seems hell bent on making his nemesis, the Lord Chief Justice, suffer. What Falstaff doesn't know, however, is that Hal has recently taken the Lord Chief Justice on as a "father" figure and a trusted advisor. So, where does that leave Falstaff?