TABLE OF CONTENTS
HENRY IV, PART TWO: There are a few key scenes in the second part of Henry IV that make sense to consider in light of Bloom's thesis. You will find below the scenes of Part II needed for class.
If Bloom is correct, then what Hal and his father believe about "B" [the court world] and its interaction with "A" [the anti-court world] should sustain our interpretation of Falstaff's pervasive influence, but...judge for yourself.
The scenes provided below concern the following moments:
1--Henry on his deathbed--compare what he says about leadership to his Part One political philosophy.
2--Hal's interaction with his father and his views on becoming King.
3--Hal on the nature of justice now that he is King.
4--Hal and Falstaff now that Hal is permanently in the "court" world. Pay particular attention to how Hal treats his former "comrade" in the scenes.
5--How does Falstaff behave?
1--ACT III, SCENE I
2-- ACT IV, SCENE V
3--ACT V, SCENE II:
4--ACT V, SCENE V
Act III, Scene I. Westminster. A Room in the Palace. This scene is central to understanding the psychology of leadership by one who had the crown and is dying, and one who is about to wear it...
Enter King Henry in his night-gown, with a Page.
K. Hen. Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick;
But, ere they come, bid them o'erread these letters,
And well consider of them. Make good speed.
How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hours asleep! O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god! why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common 'larum bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them.
With deaf'ning clamour in the slippery clouds,
That with the hurly death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Enter Warwick and Surrey.
War. Many good morrows to your majesty!
K. Hen. Is it good morrow, lords?
War. 'T is one o'clock, and past.
K. Hen. Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?
War. We have, my liege.
K. Hen. Then you perceive the body of our kingdom
How foul it is; what rank diseases grow,
And with what danger, near the heart of it.
War. It is but as a body yet distemper'd
Which to his former strength may be restored.
With good advice and little medicine:
My Lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.
K. Hen. O God! that one might read the book of fate,
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent,
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
Into the sea! and, other times, to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors! O! if this were seen,
The happiest youth, viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue,
Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.
'T is not ten years gone
Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and in two years after
Were they at wars; it is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul,
Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs
And laid his love and life under my foot;
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by, -
[To Warwick.] You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember, -
When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears.
Then check'd and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now prov'd a prophecy?
'Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne';
Though then, God knows, I had no such intent,
But that necessity so bow'd the state
That I and greatness were compell'd to kiss:
'The time shall come,' thus did he follow it,
'The time will come, that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption': so went on,
Foretelling this same time's condition
And the division of our amity.
War. There is a history in all men's lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceased;
The which observed, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their seeds
And weak beginnings lie intreasured.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time;
And by the necessary form of this
King Richard might create a perfect guess
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness,
Which should not find a ground to root upon,
Unless on you.
K. Hen. Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities;
And that same word even now cries out on us.
They say the bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.
War. It cannot be, my lord:
Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the fear'd. Please it your grace
To go to bed: upon my life, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have received
A certain instance that Glendower is dead,
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill,
And these unseason'd hours perforce must add
Unto your sickness.
K. Hen. I will take your counsel:
And were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.
Act IV, Scene V. Another Chamber.In the fourth act, the king and his son, Hal, converse for the last time, and their remarks are psychologically revealing in light of how leadership is viewed at the end of one's career.
King Henry lying on a bed: Clarence, Gloucester, Warwick, and others, in attendance.
K. Hen. Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends;
Unless some dull and favourable hand
Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
War. Call for the music in the other room.
K. Hen. Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
Clar. His eye is hollow, and he changes much.
War. Less noise, less noise!
Enter the Prince.
Prince. Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
Clar. I am here, brother, full of heaviness.
Prince. How now! rain within doors, and none abroad!
How doth the king?
Glou. Exceeding ill.
Prince. Heard he the good news yet?
Tell it him.
Glou. He alter'd much upon the hearing it.
Prince. If he be sick with joy, he'll recover without physic.
War. Not so much noise, my lords. Sweet prince, speak low;
The king your father is disposed to sleep.
Clar. Let us withdraw into the other room.
War. Will't please your grace to go along with us?
Prince. No; I will sit and watch here by the king.
[Exeunt all but the Prince.
Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
O polish'd perturbation! golden care!
That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
To many a watchful night! sleep with it now!
Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
As he whose brow with homely biggin bound
Snores out the watch of night. O majesty!
When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit
Like a rich armour worn in heat of day,
That scalds with safety. By his gates of breath.
There lies a downy feather which stirs not:
Did he suspire, that light and weightless down
Perforce must move. My gracious lord! my father!
This sleep is sound indeed; this is a sleep
That from this golden crown hath divorced
So many English kings. Thy due from me
Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood,
Which nature, love, and filial tenderness
Shall, O dear father! pay thee plenteously:
My due from thee is this imperial crown,
Which, as immediate from thy place and blood,
Derives itself to me. Lo! here it sits.
[Putting it on his head.
Which heaven shall guard; and put the world's whole strength
Into one giant arm, it shall not force
This lineal honour from me. This from thee
Will I to mine leave, as 't is left to me.
[Exit. K. Hen. Warwick, Gloucester! Clarence!
Re-enter Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence, and the rest.
Clar. Doth the king call?
War. What would your majesty? How fares your grace?
K. Hen. Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?
Clar. We left the prince my brother here, my liege,
Who undertook to sit and watch by you.
K. Hen. The Prince of Wales! Where is he? let me see him:
He is not here.
War. This door is open; he is gone this way.
Glou. He came not through the chamber where we stay'd.
K. Hen. Where is the crown? who took it from my pillow?
War. When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.
K. Hen. The prince hath ta'en it hence: go, seek him out.
Is he so hasty that he doth suppose
My sleep my death?
Find him, my Lord of Warwick; chide him hither.
This part of his conjoins with my disease,
And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you are!
How quickly nature falls into revolt
When gold becomes her object!
For this the foolish over-careful fathers
Have broke their sleep with thoughts, their brains with care,
Their bones with industry;
For this they have engrossed and piled up
The canker'd heaps of strange-achieved gold;
For this they have been thoughtful to invest
Their sons with arts and martial exercises:
When, like the bee, culling from every flower
The virtuous sweets,
Our thighs packed with wax, our mouths with honey,
We bring it to the hive, and like the bees,
Are murder'd for our pains. This bitter taste
Yield his engrossments to the ending father.
Now, where is he that will not stay so long
Till his friend sickness hath determined me?
War. My lord, I found the prince in the next room,
Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks,
With such a deep demeanour in great sorrow
That tyranny, which never quaff'd but blood,
Would, by beholding him, have wash'd his knife
With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.
K. Hen. But wherefore did he take away the crown?
Re-enter the Prince.
Lo! where he comes. Come hither to me, Harry.
Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.
[Exeunt Warwick and the rest.
Prince. I never thought to hear you speak again.
K. Hen. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought:
I stay too long by thee, I weary thee.
Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair
That thou wilt needs invest thee with mine honours
Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth!
Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.
Stay but a little; for my cloud of dignity
Is held from falling with so weak a wind
That it will quickly drop: my day is dim.
Thou hast stolen that which after some few hours
Were thine without offence; and at my death
Thou hast seal'd up my expectation:
Thy life did manifest thou lovedst me not,
And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
Thou hidest a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart,
To stab at half an hour of my life.
What! canst thou not forbear me half an hour?
Then get thee gone and dig my grave thyself,
And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear
That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse
Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head:
Only compound me with forgotten dust;
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees;
For now a time is come to mock at form.
Harry the Fifth is crown'd! Up, vanity!
Down, royal state! all you sage counsellors, hence!
And to the English court assemble now,
From every region, apes of idleness!
Now, neighbour confines, purge you of your scum:
Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance,
Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit
The oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more:
England shall double gild his treble guilt,
England shall give him office, honour, might;
For the fifth Harry from curb'd license plucks
The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent.
O my poor kingdom! sick with civil blows.
When that my care could not withhold thy riots,
What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
O! thou wilt be a wilderness again,
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants.
Prince. O! pardon me, my liege; but for my tears,
The moist impediments unto my speech,
I had forestall'd this dear and deep rebuke
Ere you with grief had spoke and I had heard
The course of it so far. There is your crown;
And He that wears the crown immortally
Long guard it yours! If I affect it more
Than as your honour and as your renown,
Let me no more from this obedience rise,
Which my most true and inward duteous spirit
Teacheth, this prostrate and exterior bending.
God witness with me, when I here came in,
And found no course of breath within your majesty,
How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,
O! let me in my present wildness die
And never live to show the incredulous world
The noble change that I have purposed.
Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
And dead almost, my liege, to think you were,
I spake unto this crown as having sense,
And thus upbraided it: 'The care on thee depending
Hath fed upon the body of my father;
Therefore, thou best of gold art worst of gold:
Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
Preserving life in medicine potable:
But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd,
Hast eat thy bearer up.' Thus, my most royal liege,
Accusing it, I put it on my head,
To try with it, as with an enemy
That had before my face murder'd my father,
The quarrel of a true inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with joy,
Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride;
If any rebel or vain spirit of mine
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the might of it,
Let God for ever keep it from my head,
And make me as the poorest vassal is
That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!
K. Hen. O my son!
God put it in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou might'st win the more thy father's love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it.
Come hither, Harry: sit thou by my bed;
And here, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. God knows, my son,
By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head:
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem'd in me
But as an honour snatch'd with boisterous hand,
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances;
Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposed peace. All these bold fears
Thou seest with peril I have answered;
For all my reign hath been but as a Scene
Acting that argument; and now my death
Changes the mode: for what in me was purchased,
Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort;
So thou the garland wear'st successively.
Yet, though thou stand'st more sure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends,
Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out;
By whose fell working I was first advanced,
And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
To be again displaced: which to avoid,
I cut them off; and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of the former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wasted so
That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
How I came by the crown, O God forgive !
And grant it may with thee in true peace live.
Prince. My gracious liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right must my possession be:
Which I with more than with a common pain
'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.
Enter John of Lancaster.
K. Hen. Look, look! here comes my John of Lancaster.
Lanc. Health, peace, and happiness to my royal father!
K. Hen. Thou bring'st me happiness and peace, son John;
But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown
From this bare wither'd trunk: upon thy sight
My worldly business makes a period.
Where is my Lord of Warwick?
Prince. My Lord of Warwick!
Re-enter Warwick with others.
K. Hen. Doth any name particular belong
Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
War. 'T is call'd Jerusalem, my noble lord.
K. Hen. Laud be to God! even there my life must end.
It hath been prophesied to me many years
I should not die but in Jerusalem,
Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land.
But bear me to that chamber; there I'll lie;
In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.
In the fifth act, there are two critical scenes. The first one concerns justice: Now that Hal is King Henry V, his subjects are very worried since the reckless days of his youth make them wonder what kind of king he will be. Particularly worried is the Chief Justice who had taken legal action against Hal when Hal was Hal and not king:
Act V, Scene II. Westminster. An Apartment in the Palace.
Enter Warwick and the Lord Chief Justice.
War. How now, my lord chief justice! whither away?
Ch. Just How doth the king?
War. Exceeding well: his cares are now all ended.
Ch. Just. I hope not dead.
War. He's walk'd the way of nature;
And to our purposes he lives no more.
Ch. Just. I would his majesty had call'd me with him:
The service that I truly did his life
Hath left me open to all injuries,
War. Indeed I think the young king loves you not.
Ch. Just. I know he doth not, and do arm myself
To welcome the condition of the time;
Which cannot look more hideously upon me
Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.
Enter Lancaster, Clarence, Gloucester, Westmoreland, and others.
War. Here comes the heavy issue of dead Harry:
O! that the living Harry had the temper
Of him, the worst of these three gentlemen.
How many nobles then should hold their places,
That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort!
Ch. Just. O God! I fear all will be overturn'd.
Lanc. Good morrow, cousin Warwick, good morrow.
Glou. Clar. Good morrow, cousin.
Lanc. We meet like men that had forgot to speak.
War. We do remember; but our argument
Is all too heavy to admit such talk.
Lanc. Well, peace be with him that hath made us heavy!
Ch. Just. Peace be with us, lest we be heavier!
Glou. O! good my lord, you have lost a friend indeed;
And I dare swear you borrow not that face
Of seeming sorrow; it is sure your own.
Lanc. Though no man be assured what grace to find,
You stand in coldest expectation.
I am the sorrier; would 't were otherwise.
Clar. Well, you must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair,
Which swims against your stream of quality.
Ch. Just. Sweet princes, what I did, I did in honour,
Led by the impartial conduct of my soul;
And never shall you see that I will beg
A ragged and forestall'd remission.
If truth and upright innocensy fail me
'll to the king my master that is dead,
And tell him who hath sent me after him.
War. Here comes the prince.
Enter King Henry the Fifth, attended.
Ch. Just. Good morrow, and God save you majesty!
K. Hen. V. This new and gorgeous garment majesty,
Sits not so easy on me as you think.
Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear:
This is the English, not the Turkish court;
Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,
But Harry Harry. Yet be sad, good brothers,
For, by my faith, it very well becomes you:
Sorrow so royally in you appears
That I will deeply put the fashion on
And wear it in my heart. Why then, be sad;
But entertain no more of it, good brothers,
Than a joint burden laid upon us all.
For me, by heaven, I bid you be assured,
I'll be your father and your brother too;
Let me but bear your love, I'll bear your cares:
Yet weep that Harry's dead, and so will I;
But Harry lives, that shall convert those tears
By number into hours of happiness.
Lanc. etc. We hope no other from your majesty.
K. Hen. V. You all look strangely on me:
[To the Chief Justice] And you most;
You are, I think, assured I love you not.
Ch. Just. I am assured, if I be measured rightly,
Your majesty hath no just cause to hate me.
K. Hen. V. No!
How might a prince of my great hopes forget
So great indignities you laid upon me?
What! rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison
The immediate heir of England! Was this easy?
May this be wash'd in Lethe, and forgotten?
Ch. Just. I then did use the person of your father;
The image of his power lay then in me:
And, in the administration of his law,
Whiles I was busy for the commonwealth,
Your highness pleased to forget my place,
The majesty and power of law and justice,
The image of the king whom I presented,
And struck me in my very seat of judgement;
Whereon, as an offender to your father,
I gave bold way to my authority,
And did commit you. If the deed were ill,
Be you contended, wearing now the garland,
To have a son set your decrees at nought,
To pluck down justice from your awful bench,
To trip the course of law, and blunt the sword
That guards the peace and safety of your person:
Nay, more, to spurn at your most royal image
And mock your workings in a second body.
Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours;
Be now the father and propose a son.
Hear your own dignity so much profaned,
See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted,
Behold yourself so by a son disdain'd
And then imagine me taking your part,
And in your power soft silencing your son:
After this cold considerance, sentence me;
And, as you are a king, speak in your state
What I have done that misbecame my place,
My person, or my liege's sovereignty.
K. Hen. V. You are right, justice; and you weigh this well;
Therefore still bear the balance and the sword;
And I do wish your honours may increase
Till you do live to see a son of mine
Offend you and obey you, as I did.
So shall I live to speak my father's words:
'Happy am I, that have a man so bold
That dares do justice on my proper son;
And not less happy, having such a son,
That would deliver up his greatness so
Into the hands of justice.' You did commit me:
For which, I do commit into your hand
The unstained sword that you have used to bear;
With this remembrance, that you use the same
With the like bold, just, and impartial spirit
As you have done 'gainst me. There is my hand:
You shall be as a father to my youth;
My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear,
And I will stoop and humble my intents
To your well-practised wise directions.
And. princes all, believe me, I beseech you:
My father is gone wild into his grave,
For in his tomb lie my affections;
And with his spirit sadly I survive,
To mock the expectation of the world,
To frustrate prophecies, and to raze out
Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down
After my seeming. The tide of blood in me
Hath proudly flow'd in vanity till now:
Now doth it turn and ebb back to the sea,
Where it shall mingle with the state of floods
And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
Now call we our high court of parliament;
And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel,
That the great body of our state may go
In equal rank with the best govern'd nation'
That war, or peace, or both at once, may be
As things acquainted and familiar to us;
In which you, father, shall have foremost hand.
Our coronation done, we will accite,
As I before remember'd, all our state:
And, God consigning to my good intents,
No prince nor peer shall have just cause to say
God shorten Harry's happy life one day.
Act V, Scene V: THIS FINAL SCENE IS PROBABLY THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL IN THE PLAY, AND CONCERNS HOW KING HENRY TREATS HIS FORMER 'FRIEND', FALSTAFF. IS OUR CLASS INTERPRETATION SUSTAINED OR OVERRULED BY WHAT YOU READ?
Enter King Henry the Fifth and his Train, the Lord Chief Justice among them.
Fal. God save thy grace, King Hal! my royal Hal!
Pist. The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!
Fal. God save thee, my sweet boy!
K. Hen. V. My lord chief justice, speak to that vain man.
Ch. Just. Have you your wits? know you what 't is you speak?
Fal. My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!
K. Hen. V. I know thee not, old man: fall to thy prayers;
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
I have long dream'd of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane;
But, being awaked, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest:
Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive, .
That I have turn'd away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots:
Till then, I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evil:
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will, according to your strength and qualities,
Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord,
To see perform'd the tenour of our word.
[Exeunt King Henry V. and his Train.
Fal. Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pound.
Shal. Ay, marry, Sir John; which I beseech you to let me have home with me.
Fal. That can hardly be, Master Shallow. Do not you grieve at this: I
shall be sent for in private to him. Look you, he must seem thus to the world.
Fear not your advancements; I will be the man yet that shall make you great.
Shal. I cannot well perceive how, unless you should give me your doublet
and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir John, let me have five
hundred of my thousand.
Fal. Sir, I will be as good as my word: this that you heard was but a colour.
Shal. A colour that I fear you will die in, Sir John.
Fal. Fear no colours: go with me to dinner.
Come, Lieutenant Pistol; come, Bardolph; I shall be sent for soon at night.
Re-enter John of Lancaster, the Lord Chief Justice; Officers with them.
Ch. Just. Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet;
Take all his company along with him.
Fal. My lord, my lord!
Ch. Just. I cannot now speak: I will hear you soon.
Take them away.
Pist. Si fortune me tormente, sperato me contento.
[Exeunt Falstaff, Shallow, Pistol, Bardolph, Page, and Officers.
Lanc. I like this fair proceeding of the king's.
He hath intent his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for;
But all are banish'd till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.
Ch. Just. And so they are.
Lanc. The king hath call'd his parliament, my lord.
Ch. Just. He hath.
Lanc. I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords and native fire
As far as France. I heard a bird so sing,
Whose music, to my thinking, pleased the king.
Come, will you hence?
BLOOM makes the following observations about Henry V:
1--"Power keeps its habit throughout the ages."
2--"Our nation's Henry V...was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who gave us the Bay of Pigs and the enhancement of our Vietnam adventure."
3--Henry V is a "...amiable monster." Bloom alludes to episodes during the French campaign in which Henry says:
K. Hen. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let it pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height! On, on you noblest English!
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof;
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
And sheath'd their swords for lack of argument.
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeomen,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit; and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry! England and Saint George!'
[Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.
But we also have this...
...defy us to our worst; for as I am a soldier,
.A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,
.If I begin the battery once again,
.I will not leave the half-achieved Harfluer
.Till in her ashes she lie buried.
.The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,
.And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart,
.In liberty of bloody hand shall range
.With conscience wide as hell, mowing like the grass,
.Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants,
.What is it then to me, if impious war,
.Array'd in flames like to the prince of fiends,
.Do, with his smirch'd complexion, all fell feats
.Enlink'd to waste and desolation?
Bloom does not fail to notice the irony:
"Militarism, brutality, pious hypocrisy all are outshone by England's charismatic hero king."
[Instructor comment: Interestingly, Falstaff is not in the play--his death is reported:]
Act II, Scene III. London. Before a Tavern in Eastcheap.
Enter Pistol, Hostess, Nym, Bardolph, and Boy.
Host. Pritheo, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.
Pist. No; for my manly heart doth yearn.
Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins:
Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,
And we must yearn therefore.
Bard. Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in heaven or in hell!
Host. Nay, sure, he's not in hell: he's in Arthur's bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's bosom. A' made a finer end and went away an it had been any christom child; a' parted even just between twelve and one, even at the turning o' the tide: for after I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with flowers and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a' babbled of green fields. 'How now, Sir John!' quoth I; 'what, man! be o' good cheer.' So a' cried out 'God, God, God!' three or four times: now I, to comfort him, bid him a' should not think of God, I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So a' bade me lay more clothes on his feet: I put my hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and so upward, and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.
Nym. They say he cried out of sack.
Host. Ay, that a' did.
Bard. And of women.
Host. Nay, that a' did not.
Boy. Yes, that a' did; and said they were devils incarnate.
Host. A' could never abide carnation; 't was a colour he never liked.
Boy. A' said once, the devil would have him about women.
Host. A' did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was rheumatic, and talked of the whole of Babylon.
Boy. Do you not remember a' saw a flea stick upon Bardolph's nose, and a' said it was a black soul burning in hell-fire!
Bard. Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire: that's all the riches I got in his service.
Instructor's note: It is inferred in the play that Falstaff died of a broken heart after being rejected by Hal as King. SO IS FALSTAFF'S INFLUENCE PERVASIVE?
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