Study Guide

Henry IV Part 1 Act 5, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

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Act 5, Scene 1

Read the full text of Henry IV Part 1 Act 5 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • The next morning, the king's forces prepare for the day's battle.
  • Worcester and Vernon arrive from the rebel camp for a little chat with the king. Henry urges them to accept his peace offer.
  • Falstaff cracks an inappropriate joke and Hal tells him to zip it.
  • Worcester says he doesn't necessarily want to fight with the king but the Henry's left his family no other choice. Worcester says the Percy family feels like they've been used by the king and reminds him of how they helped him get his family's land back.
  • King Henry says the Percys are full of it and they've been spouting off lies all over England – they're just making excuses so they can try to overthrow him.
  • Prince Hal steps up and offers to fight Hotspur in man-to-man combat to save the troops on both sides from an ugly battle. He gives Hotspur props for being so courageous and says it would be an honor to fight him.
  • King Henry tells Worcester that the rebels should accept his peace offer if they know what's good for them. Worcester and Vernon say they'll deliver the message to Hotspur and return to the rebel camp.
  • Prince Hal predicts Hotspur will blow off the offer and the king tells his troops to get ready to rumble.
  • Alone on stage, Falstaff and Hal discuss the impending battle. Falstaff asks Hal to look out for him. The prince tells the old man he owes "God a death" and leaves.
  • Falstaff delivers his famous speech on "honour." He says honor is nothing but a "word" and doesn't mean anything, especially to the dead who have paid for it with their lives. Falstaff wants no part of it.

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