Study Guide

Henry IV Part 1 Act 5, Scene 4

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Act 5, Scene 4

Read the full text of Henry IV Part 1 Act 5 Scene 4 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • The next time we see Prince Hal, he's bleeding from battle wounds. His dad tells him to take a break. Hal refuses.
  • Alone with the king, Prince Hal remarks that his little brother, Prince John, has fought bravely. He's proud of him.
  • Then, Douglas enters and sees Henry. Douglas says he can't tell if Henry is another "counterfeit" and Henry assures him that, yep, he's the king all right and he's about to whoop up on Douglas.
  • They fight and it's not looking good for Henry.
  • Prince Hal runs over and saves his dad's life. Douglas runs off.
  • King Henry says he's glad to see that Prince Hal values his life.
  • A tender father-son moment ensues. Hal has redeemed himself in his father's eyes.
  • King Henry exits the stage.
  • Hotspur enters then and challenges Prince Hal. They talk a round of trash and Hal says he's going to cut the ribbons from Hotspur's helmet and make a hat out of them.
  • They fight.
  • Downstage, Falstaff fights with Douglas. Douglas has the upper hand so Falstaff falls down and plays dead.
  • Meanwhile, Prince Hal mortally wounds Hotspur.
  • Hotspur says he's less upset about dying than he is about Hal taking away all of Hotspur's "proud titles."
  • Just as Percy begins to say he is "food for worms," he dies and Hal must finish the sentence for him.
  • Hal stands over Hotspur's body and gives him major props for being such an honorable warrior.
  • Just then, Hal sees Falstaff lying on the ground nearby. He says something like "bummer" and leaves his old friend in a bloody heap before exiting the stage.
  • Falstaff then rises, seemingly, from the dead.
  • Falstaff sees Hotspur's corpse nearby and worries the young Percy could still be alive.
  • Falstaff stabs Hotspur's thigh and slings the corpse over his back to drag back to the king's camp.
  • Prince Hal and Prince John enter and see Falstaff. Hal says something like, "Hey, I thought you were dead."
  • Falstaff brags about killing Percy and Hal says, "What are you talking about? I just killed Percy."
  • Falstaff tells Hal to stop fibbing and claims that Hotspur only appeared to be dead when Hal left him. Falstaff delivered the mortal wound.
  • Hal knows Falstaff's lying, but the old man is so pathetic that Hal lets it go.

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