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SCENE SUMMARY WITH NOTES
ACT IV, SCENE 5
The scene is set in the Tower of London. Lord Scales is seen walking at the top of the tower. Two citizens enter. Scales asks them whether Cade has been killed or not. The first citizen replies that there is no chance of Cade’s being killed. The rebels have crossed the bridge, killing all those who oppose them. The Lord Mayor of London is seeking the help of Lord Scales to defend the city from the rebels. Scales replies that he himself is in a miserable position because the rebels have grown strong enough to overtake the tower. He asks the citizens to go to Smithfield to gather more forces. He also advises them to fight for their king, their country and their lives.
Lord Scales is left in charge of the Tower of London when the king goes to Kenilworth. In this scene it is clear that the rebels are becoming more and more powerful. From the citizen’s words, the audience learns that the Lord Mayor of London needs help from the tower. Scales asks the men to go to Smithfield to gather more forces. Smithfield has more open space where the troops could convene.
ACT IV, SCENE 6
The scene takes place on Cannon Street in London. Jack Cade and others enter, and Cade strikes his sword on the London stone. Then, Cade proclaims that he is Lord Mortimer, and anyone who does not call him Lord Mortimer shall be punished. Just then a soldier comes running, calling “Jack Cade,” and he is immediately knocked down and killed. Dick the Butcher says that there is an army gathered in Smithfield, and Cade sets off to fight them. He first orders his men to go and set the London Bridge on fire, as well as the tower.
Jack Cade proclaims himself as Lord Mortimer. Sitting on the London stone (a famous landmark), he declares that during the first year of his reign, there will be abundant wine in the city. He means that even the popular “Pissing Conduit” (the Little Conduit) near the Royal Exchange, through which a small stream ran, will overflow with wine. His tendency toward dictatorship is revealed when he orders the soldier who called him Jack Cade to be killed. The spirit of revolution in Cade is very clearly visible when he shouts, “(B)ut first, go on and set London Bridge afire, and, if you can, burn down the Tower too. Come, let’s away.”