Study Guide

Henry IV Part 1 Act 4, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

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Act 4, Scene 1

Read the full text of Henry IV Part 1 Act 4 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • At the rebel camp, Hotspur and Douglas tell each other how great they are. "You're so brave, Douglas." "No, Hotspur, you're more brave," and so on.
  • A messenger enters with letters from Hotspur's dad, Northumberland. Turns out, dad can't make it to the battle because he's got the sniffles and can't get out of bed.
  • "Gee, this is a major setback," says Worcester, "maybe we should hold off on the battle until Northumberland can join us."
  • "Nonsense," says Hotspur. "Our victory will be even more glorious when people find out we've defeated the king's army without my dad's help."
  • Douglas agrees with Hotspur, but Worcester worries that the other rebels will think Northumberland is missing because he thinks the battle is a bad idea.
  • Vernon enters with news that Westmoreland and Prince John are marching toward Shrewsbury with 7,000 troops. The king's also on his way and he's got a bunch of soldiers with him. Prince Hal is on his way too and he looks pretty glorious on horseback in all his battle gear.
  • Hotspur, who gets all hot and bothered by Vernon's description of Hal, says bring it. He can't wait to get his battle on with Prince Hal, "hot horse to horse."
  • Vernon delivers more bad news. Glendower can't get his troops together for another couple of weeks. The other rebels will have to fight without him.
  • This is a huge blow but Hotspur decides to forge ahead anyway.

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