Study Guide

Henry IV Part 2 Act 4, Scene 4

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Act 4, Scene 4

Read the full text of Henry IV Part 2 Act 4 Scene 4 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Meanwhile, at the palace in London, King Henry IV, who's laid up in bed, tells his attendants that, if his army beats the rebels today at Gaultree Forest, he's going to lead a holy crusade to Jerusalem. He sure hopes he's feeling better soon.
  • Warwick says he's sure the king will be feeling better any second now.
  • King Henry turns to his son, Humphrey (a.k.a. Gloucester), and asks where Prince Hal is today. Humphrey says Hal's at Windsor, doing a little hunting. Fine, says Henry, who turns to his other son, Thomas (a.k.a. Clarence), and asks why he isn't hanging out with his brother, Hal.
  • Then Henry proceeds to give Thomas some lengthy advice about how to handle Prince Hal, who can be a bit moody at times. Thomas will have to be the one who holds the brother's together.
  • When Henry asks Thomas why he isn't at Windsor with Prince Hal, Thomas admits that Hal's hanging out in London with Poins and his pals, which sends Henry into a big rage. Hal's friends are like rotten weeds and the kingdom is in big, big, big trouble when Henry dies and Hal's in charge of leading the country.
  • Warwick sticks up for Hal and points out that Hal is hanging with the commoners in order to study them, which will make him a better ruler. In time, the Prince will ditch his loser pals. King Henry is underestimating his son.
  • Henry says that's not likely.
  • Westmoreland arrives with news of Prince John's victory over the rebels. Hooray!
  • Then Harcourt arrives with more fabulous news – Northumberland and Lord Bardolph have been overthrown in Yorkshire and the king can read all about it in the official documents Harcourt has brought with him.
  • King Henry says that's awesome news but his glass is still only half full. Just as he says he's too sick to fully enjoy any of this great news, he faints (rather dramatically).
  • The princes are scared and rush over to their father. Westmoreland tries to calm them down and tells them to stand back and give the guy some air already.
  • Clarence and Gloucester, who are a bit superstitious, say that some strange things have been happening lately. There have been reports from the commoners about children being supernaturally conceived and other children being born with physical deformities. Also, the weather has been bizarre lately and it seems like some seasons have been skipped over by nature. Plus, the Thames River has flooded three times without ever receding – the last time that happened was when King Edward III (b.1312-d.1377) got sick and died.
  • Having a hard time keeping track of the royal family roots? Check out this nifty family tree. (It's color coded and everything).
  • Westmoreland hushes them up as King Henry comes to from his fainting fit.
  • Henry wakes up and asks to be taken into another room so he can enjoy some peace and quiet.

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