Study Guide

Henry IV Part 2 Act 5, Scene 5

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Act 5, Scene 5

Read the full text of Henry IV Part 2 Act 5 Scene 5 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • On a public street near Westminster Abbey, two Grooms (workers) cover the ground with rushes in preparation for the new king's procession.
  • Falstaff, Shallow, Pistol, Bardolph, and the Page stand on the street so they can watch the newly crowned king as he makes his way through the streets of London. Falstaff brags to his pals that Hal will give him a special look as he passes by.
  • Falstaff also wishes he had time to have some new clothes made but, he reasons that his presence will be enough to show his support of Hal.
  • Pistol informs Falstaff that Doll Tearsheet and Mistress Quickly have been imprisoned and Falstaff brags that he'll set them free them.
  • King Henry V enters with his retinue (Prince John, Clarence, Gloucester, the Lord Chief Justice and some other important men).
  • When Falstaff spots the king he shouts "God save thy grace, King Hal, my royal Hal!"
  • Hal ignores him and Falstaff tries again: "God save thee, my sweet boy!"
  • Hal turns to his main man, the Lord Chief Justice, and tells him to deal with the foolish old man that's trying to talk to the king. (Ouch.)
  • The LCJ turns to Falstaff and asks him what he thinks he's doing – Falstaff's got no business trying to speak to the king.
  • Falstaff ignores the LCJ and addresses Hal again: "My king, my Jove, I speak to thee my heart!"
  • Then, in one of the most painful moments of the play, Hal turns to Falstaff and says "I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers."
  • Hal continues to deliver a speech about how Falstaff shouldn't presume to know him – Hal's no longer a wild boy. Now that he's king, he's "turned away from [his] former self," which means that Falstaff is no longer fit company.
  • Hal then banishes Falstaff, "on pain of death," and orders him to stay ten miles away from him.
  • As Hal turns and moves on, Falstaff tries to play off the insult. He tells Justice Shallow that Hal had to act that way in public but he'll probably send for Falstaff privately.
  • Apparently, Falstaff has borrowed some money from Justice Shallow and has promised him some kind of advancement in the king's service. Since it doesn't look like that's going to happen any time soon, Shallow asks for his money back. Falstaff, of course, doesn't have it.
  • Just then, the Lord Chief Justice enters with some officers and commands them to take Falstaff and all his cronies to Fleet Prison in London. Falstaff objects and the LCJ dismisses him, saying that he'll deal with Falstaff later.
  • As the men are escorted to prison, Prince John and the LCJ are left alone on stage. Prince John says he's happy about Hal's decision. Hal has made private arrangements to ensure that Falstaff and the others will be well provided for but, they're banished until they can shape up. (That's not likely to happen soon so it looks like Falstaff's banished forever.)
  • Prince John also notes that Hal has called Parliament to order and predicts that before the year is over, English soldiers will be fighting on French soil. (Hmm. Sounds like there's going to be a sequel to this play…)

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