Shakespeare king henry v - King Henry V - The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

    Enter KING HENRY V, GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and Attendants KING HENRY V Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?
    EXETER Not here in presence.
    KING HENRY V Send for him, good uncle.
    WESTMORELAND Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?
    KING HENRY V Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolved,
    Before we hear him, of some things of weight
    That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.

    Henry V begins at the English court, where the young king is persuaded that he has a claim to the throne of France. When the French dauphin, or heir apparent, insults him by sending him tennis balls, Henry launches his military expedition to France.

    Henry’s decision to invade France trickles down to affect the common people he rules. In the Boar’s Head Tavern in Eastcheap, some of the king’s former friends—whom he rejected when he rose to the throne—prepare to leave their homes and families. Bardolph, Pistol, and Nim are common lowlifes and part-time criminals, on the opposite end of the social spectrum from their royal former companion. As they prepare for the war, they remark on the death of Falstaff, an elderly knight who was once King Henry’s closest friend.

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