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Act II, SCENE 5
In another part of the field, King Henry enters alone away from the
fray, bemoaning the current battle and seeing it as a sea whose
currents go this way and that, moving against each other, but it is
all the same sea even though one side wants to be the winner. He
sees no winners however, just survivors. The King says he would
rather be a shepherd than a king and sleep and live peacefully
under a fresh tree's shade rather than drink from a golden cup and
not sleep peacefully when care, mistrust and treason waits on him.
Alarums are heard and a son enters who has killed his father by
mistake as he was fighting on the other side, for the Yorkists. He
sees the King sitting there and exclaims that the King resembles
his father whom he had unwarily killed in fight. He asks God
forgiveness and also his dead father's. The King says it is indeed a
sad sight and while lions fight for their dens, poor lambs abide
their enmity. He tells the son to weep and he shall also join him
and let their hearts and eyes like civil war be blind with tears.
Then enters a father who has killed his son and carries his body.
Though the stout man had resisted, the father had killed the young
man without knowing that it was his son. The father starts
lamenting and asks his son to open his eyes and look at the
showers of tears that have arisen, blown by the tempest of his heart
upon his wounds. The father also curses the miserable age and the
butchery and unnatural happenings occurring that a quarrel had
Seeing this sad spectacle, King Henry sighs and prays to heaven to
have pity on them. He compares the purple blood on the man to the
red rose, and his pale cheeks to the white rose, the fatal colors of
the houses of Lancaster. Only one rose can flourish and the other
shall fade. The son is frustrated about how he will face his mother
after having killed his father. The father is despairing about having
to face his wife after slaughtering his son, who, he says, will shed
seas of tears and never be satisfied. King Henry realizes that all
this has happened due to his inability to be a strong monarch and
the nation will hold him responsible for all these woeful incidents.
He thinks that his sorrow, as a king, is ten times greater than the
father and son who mourn their dear one's death.
The son takes away the body of his father and the father carries his
son's body in his and the Queen enters with the Prince, who shouts
to his father to flee, since they are being followed by Warwick,
who is chasing them. The King is reluctant and cares little for his
safety but does as he is told.
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