Quotations to fit on the Henry’s kingly qualities chart


And a true lover of the holy church


The breath no sooner left his father’s body,
But that his wildness, mortified in him


Since his addiction was to courses vain,
His companies unletter’d, rude and shallow,
His hours fill’d up with riots, banquets, sports


My learned lord, we pray you to proceed
And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salique that they have in France
should, or should not, bar us in our claim:
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake our sleeping sword of war:


May I with right and conscience make this claim?


O, let us yet be merciful.


You have conspired against our royal person,
Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,

His princes and his peers to servitude,
His subjects to oppression and contempt
Touching our person seek we no revenge;
But we our kingdom’s safety … to her laws
We do deliver you.


Therefore when he sees reason of fears,

no man should possess
him with any appearance of fear,

lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.


I think he would not wish himself any where but where he is. O hard condition,
Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath
Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel But his own wringing!


We must bear all. What infinite heart’s-ease
Must kings neglect,


What drink’st thou oft, instead of homage sweet, But poison’d flattery?


I am a king, and I know [no king]

Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,

Who with a body fill’d and vacant mind
Gets him to rest,

The slave…Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wots
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace.


Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

On, on, you noblest English


I am a soldier,
A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,


O God of battles! steel my soldiers’ hearts;
Possess them not with fear; take from them now
The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers
Pluck their hearts from them.


think not upon the fault
My father made in compassing the crown!
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
Who twice a-day their wither’d hands hold up
Toward heaven, to pardon blood; and I have built
Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still for Richard’s soul. More will I do;


The fewer men, the greater share of honour.


That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:


Come, uncle Exeter,
Go you and enter Harfleur;
Use mercy to them all….


He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named…
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.


one that
is like to be executed for robbing a church, one
Bardolph, if your majesty know the man…?


We would have all such offenders so cut off:


The royal captain of this ruin’d band
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
and visits all his host…
And calls them brothers, friends and countrymen.


The names of those their nobles that lie dead:
Charles Delabreth, high constable of France;
Jaques of Chatillon, admiral of France;
Anthony Duke of Brabant,
The brother of the Duke of Burgundy,
And Edward Duke of Bar

Here was a royal fellowship of death!


But five and twenty. O God, thy arm was here;

And be it death proclaimed through our host
To boast of this or take the praise from God


An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel.


I have neither words nor measure,

nor I have no cunning in protestation;
only downright oaths,


but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon;

never changes, but keeps his
course truly


in loving me, you should love
the friend of France; for I love France so well that
I will not part with a village of it


I will tell thee in French

It is as easy for me,
Kate, to conquer the kingdom as to speak so much
more French: I shall never move thee in French,
unless it be to laugh at me.


Therefore was I created with a
stubborn outside, with an aspect of iron, that, when
I come to woo ladies, I fright them. But, in faith,
Kate, the elder I wax, the better I shall appear:

Henry V – Act 4 scene i

Henry and the commoners – in disguise Henry goes round the camp assessing the mood. He comes across Bates and Williams. After a greeting by Pistol in which he extols the king’s virtues the others are harder on the king.

  • Pistol thinks the King is a good fellow and has a heart of gold.
  • Henry tries to make them think the king is but a man like them, and just as ready to die.
  • Bates says he wishes the king were alone on this battlefield, then Henry would be ransomed and then many lives would be saved.
  • We are told that the common man is afraid of death; Henry says so is the king. But the king cannot afford to let the men know he is afraid for it would demoralise them. Bates queries whether the king’s cause is just; Henry says it is.
  • Williams asks how they are to know if it is. While Bates says if it isn’t just, then the fault and blame lies with the king.
  • Williams says those who lose lives and limbs will demand an accounting of the king, for no one dies well who dies in battle.
  • Henry disagrees for all men are guilty of something and that is the guilt of which they will be charged: it is not the king’s sin. Every subject’s duty is the king’s but every subject’s soul is his own.
  • Williams and Bates agree but then Williams goes onto suggest that the king may renege on his claim not to be ransomed; how will he know if the king does it after they are dead.
  • Henry takes exception to the slur, defends the king’s honour by challenging him to a fight if they should both survive the coming battle. They exchange gloves.
  • Bates has the last word reminding them they enough foreign enemies without making enemies of each other.


Henry’s soliloquy on the eve of battle following this discussion Act 4 scene i lines 226 – end

  • He laments the weight of responsibility lumped on him by the common man for his life the lives of his loved ones and even for his sins. Such is the lot of a king to be responsible for fools!
  • A king, he muses, can never have heart’s ease; can never sleep the sleep of even the most wretched slave, because he has responsibilities.
  • The only thing a king has as compensation is ceremony and that’s a poor substitute for a good night’s sleep! Ceremony is a poor god, a poor benefit for so mush suffering and anxiety.
  • He lists all the supposed benefits of kingship: the clothes, the respect the titles, the crown but none of these can replace a good night’s sleep.
  • The wretched slave does as he’s told from morn to night and sleeps in heaven, with no cares and responsibilities, no dilemmas etc and lives his life never thinking of the consequences – another tennis metaphor – while the king ensures that the slave can enjoy the advantages of peace by his actions and manipulations.
  • (Interrupted by his nobles) Henry is praying to God to put steel in his men’s hearts, take away their fear, forget they are outnumbered. Begs God not to remember and blame him for his father’s guilt at the murder of his predecessor, Richard II, but to remember all that Henry has done to try to make recompense for the sin of his father, building two chapels, having daily masses sung and paying poor money out. He has done what he can and he is penitent, sorry.