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Henry V

Henry V

 Table of Contents

Henry V Memory and the Past Quotes

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Quote #1

BOURBON[...]I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus:'Wonder of nature,'--ORLÉANS I have heard a sonnet begin so to one's mistress.DAUPHIN Then did they imitate that which I composed to mycourser, for my horse is my mistress.ORLÉANS Your mistress bears well. (3.7.5)


Bourbon seems like a throwback to Hotspur's character in Henry IV Part 1, don't you think? Recall that Hotspur was the epitome of honor and chivalry (a word that comes from the French "cheval," which means horse). Here, Bourbon's over-the-top bragging about his beloved horse seems like a comedic parody of Hotspur's love of warfare and chivalry.

Quote #2

KING HARRY O God of battles! steel my soldiers' hearts;Possess them not with fear; take from them nowThe sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbersPluck their hearts from them. Not to-day, O Lord,O, not to-day, think not upon the faultMy father made in compassing the crown!I Richard's body have interred anew;And on it have bestow'd more contrite tearsThan from it issued forced drops of blood:Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,Who twice a-day their wither'd hands hold upToward heaven, to pardon blood; and I have builtTwo chantries, where the sad and solemn priestsSing still for Richard's soul. More will I do;Though all that I can do is nothing worth,Since that my penitence comes after all,Imploring pardon. (4.1.34)


Henry V may not admit it in public, but he's really anxious about the way his father got his hands on the English throne. Here, he begs God to forgive him for his dad's crimes against Richard II and hopes that he won't be punished for Henry IV's sins.

Quote #3

FLUELLEN It is not well done, mark you now take the tales outof my mouth, ere it is made and finished. I speakbut in the figures and comparisons of it: asAlexander killed his friend Cleitus, being in hisales and his cups; so also Harry Monmouth, being inhis right wits and his good judgments, turned awaythe fat knight with the great belly-doublet: hewas full of jests, and gipes, and knaveries, andmocks; I have forgot his name.GOWER Sir John Falstaff. (4.7.5)


Even though Shakespeare has killed off Falstaff, the guy never quite seems to go away (even though people are beginning to forget his name). Why do you think Shakespeare dredges up a memory of Falstaff at this particular moment in the play?

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