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Quotes

Quote #10

Upon the king! let us our lives, our souls,
Our debts, our careful wives,
Our children and our sins lay on the king!
We must bear all. O hard condition,
Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath
Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel
But his own wringing! What infinite heart's-ease
Must kings neglect, that private men enjoy! (4.1.32)

When Henry complains that being king means that he never gets to relax, we're reminded of something his father said back in Henry IV Part 2: "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" (3.1.1). In other words, kingship is a heavy burden.

Quote #11

Not to-day, O Lord,
O, not to-day, think not upon the fault
My father made in compassing the crown!
I Richard's body have interred anew;
And on it have bestow'd more contrite tears
Than from it issued forced drops of blood:
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
Who twice a-day their wither'd hands hold up
Toward heaven, to pardon blood; and I have built
Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
Sing 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)

Uh-oh. It looks like someone is feeling guilty about the fact that he inherited the crown from a father who stole it from Richard II. Here, Henry asks God to forgive him for his father's sins and says that he's spent years trying to atone for Henry IV's sins. This raises an important question. If Henry's claim to English throne is questionable, how the heck can he justify going after the French crown?

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