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MonkeyNotes-Henry IV, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
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Act V, Scene 4

Summary

Prince Hal is wounded but refuses to rest. He praises the valor of his brother as he watches him fight the enemies. Suddenly, King Henry is challenged by Douglas. It is the third "king" he has encountered that day and Douglas is unsure of his identity. As they begin to fight, Hal realizes that King Henry is in danger of being killed and immediately comes to his fatherís rescue. He engages Douglas, who flees from their sight. King Henry is proud of his sonís valor and tells him that he has redeemed himself. Hal swears to his father that he never meant him any harm, and the latter exits. Hotspur enters, recognizes the prince, and identifies himself. Hal declares him a "valiant rebel" (63), but announces, essentially, that England is not big enough for the two of them. Each one knows that this will be a fight to the death.

As they begin fighting, Falstaff enters and cheers Hal from a distance. Douglas enters and begins fighting with Falstaff, who falls to the ground as if he were dead. Douglas exits.

Hotspur is mortally wounded by Hal. Before dying he tells Hal that the wound to his pride for having lost hurts him more than his impending death. The prince praises Hotspurís valor and remarks on the ephemeral nature of life. He then notices Falstaff on the ground and is moved to find him dead. After giving his companion a warm farewell, he exits.


When he is gone, Falstaff gets up. He gives a ridiculous justification for faking his death. Seeing the dead Percy, he decides to kill him again, just in case he rises as he himself did. He stabs the body in the thigh and hoists it onto his shoulders.

Prince Hal enters with his brother, Prince John. They are surprised to see Falstaff carting Percy's body, and Hal swears that he killed Percy and saw Falstaff dead. Falstaff replies that they had both been merely "out of breath" (149-50) and that he had killed Percy himself after a long and terrible fight. He even swears that he gave him the wound in his thigh. John is astounded, but Hal is bemused and allows Falstaff his lie.

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MonkeyNotes-Henry IV, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
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