Focus on "Henry V":

Navigating Digital Text, Performance, & Historical Resources

Key Scenes and Speeches from Henry V

Key Scenes and Speeches Audio File

Navigating this page:

Clicking the links below will take you to each scene in the Folger Digital Edition of Henry V.

Prologue | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.0 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 2.4 | 3.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 | 3.4 | 3.5 | 3.6 | 3.7 | 
4.0 | 4.1 | 4.2 | 4.3 | 4.4 | 4.5 | 4.6 | 4.7 | 4.8 | 5.0 | 5.1 | 5.2 | Epilogue

Citing This Play Text:

Chicago style citations taken from “Folger Digital Texts: How to Cite.

Footnote/endnote citation:
Barbara Mowat, Paul Werstine, Michael Poston, Rebecca Niles, eds., Henry V (Washington: Folger Shakespeare Library, n.d.), accessed June 17, 2019.

Bibliography citation
Henry V from Folger Digital Texts, ed. Barbara Mowat, Paul Werstine, Michael Poston, and Rebecca Niles. Folger Shakespeare Library. Accessed on June 17, 2019.

Key Scenes:

The Chorus’s Prologue to the Text
This speech is important because it opens the play and invites the audience to use their imaginations as they watch the performance. The Chorus is responsible for communicating exposition and scenery changes at the beginning of each act. They function as the audience's window into the world of King Henry V.

Julia Koslowsky writes in-depth about the Chorus’s prologues and epilogue in her essay.

All of the Chorus’s speeches can be found here.
Salic Law speech (1.2)
The Salic Law is the basis for the claim that King Henry V has over the French throne. This discussion between King Henry V and the Archbishop of Canterbury is crucial to the plot of the play, as it launches England into war with France.

Mikaela LaFave writes in-depth about the Salic Law speech in her essay.
Once more unto the breach” speech (3.1)
Henry's speech takes place at the gates of Harfleur in France, the first place the English attack. The bloodthirsty side of Henry comes out in this speech as he spurs his men to follow him into battle.

Philip Gilreath explores the ways in which this speech has been appropriated by popular culture.

The entire speech can be found here.
Katherine/Alice French scene (3.4)
This scene is entirely written in French. Princess Katherine is learning English from her lady-in-waiting in preparation for Henry V taking over France, her homeland. For Katherine, this means marriage to a foreign king. The scene’s true meaning can be lost on a reader versus a play-attender. Seeing the play performed adds a physical understanding to what Katherine and Alice are talking about.

Janice Valls-Russell and Charlène Cruxent discuss how this scene portrays the vulnerability of France and how gender plays an important role within the play.
St. Crispin’s Day speech (4.3)
The St. Crispin's Day speech is spoken by King Henry V in order to invigorate his troops after they discover they are extremely outnumbered by the French army. In his speech, Henry tries to rally his men by uniting them as "a band of brothers" and by making claims about their future fame and glory once the battle has been won.

Daniel Yabut discusses how the St. Crispin's Day speech has changed throughout different early editions of the play.
The St. Crispin’s Day speech can be found here.
Pistol and Monsieur Le Fer French/English scene (4.4)
This scene between English soldier Pistol and French soldier Le Fer is key in demonstrating language barriers in the time of Henry V. Pistol hilariously misunderstands Le Fer, but the scene becomes much more important when the reader thinks about Henry V, who does not speak French, conquering France.

Charlène Cruxent writes in-depth about Pistol and Monsieur Le Fer’s interaction in her essay.
Fluellen and Pistol Leek scene (5.1)
The Leek scene unlocks Shakespeare's discussion of race and ethnicity within the United Kingdom. Underneath England's fight against the French is a disrespect for the men from what they would consider "lesser" or "uncivilized" people groups of their own United Kingdom.

Nora Galland discusses how this scene is proof of the English army representing a "band of Others," and not a "band of brothers."
Henry and Katherine courting scene (5.2)
In this penultimate scene of the play, King Henry V, having won the war, discusses with Katherine and the French royalty his desire to make Katherine his wife.

Janice Valls-Russell discusses how different portrayals of this scene can either inspire or inhibit agency in Katherine's character.
Charlène Cruxent discusses how the nickname "Kate" in this scene is indicative of King Henry V's desire to establish authority over Katherine.

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