Quotes

Henry V/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The breath no sooner left his father’s body but that his wildness seemed to
die too.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 27-29.  Bishop of Canterbury to Bishop of Ely.  The two clergymen are discussing actions they might take to derail a bill in Parliament that would strip the Church of much of its lands. They know well the road to their success leads through the king’s court. Ely says the king is “a true lover of the holy Church.” Canterbury comes back with “The courses of his youth promised it not.” The quote lets us know that Prince Harry as Henry V is no longer the irresponsible Prince Hal. They believe there is hope for their cause if they can distract the king. The distraction is to cause him to believe he should, at whatever costs, reclaim the French crown.

Henry V/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The strawberry grows underneath the weeds, and wholesome berries thrive and
ripen best neighbored by fruit of baser quality.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 63-64.  Bishop of Ely to Bishop of Canterbury.  The two bishops are discussing the king’s transformation from his “wildness, which, no doubt, grew like the summer grass, fastest by night.” Canterbury adds “It must be so, for miracles are ceased.” They believe they will be able to successfully lobby this king to their cause.

Henry V/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The weasel Scot comes sneaking and so sucks her
princely eggs, playing the mouse in absence of the cat.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 177-179.  Bishop of Ely to Bishop of Canterbury.  Henry V worries that the Scots will play mischief in England if he sends troops to France. The bishops, along with the Duke of Exeter, the king’s uncle, plan to do their best to defuse the king’s concern for the “weasel Scot,” if the king does decide to invade France.

Henry V/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “So work the honeybees, creatures that by the rules that are natural to them
teach orderly action to a peopled kingdom.”

Answer:  Act 1, Scene 2,
Lines 195-197.  Bishop of Canterbury to
Henry V.  Canterbury wants the king to focus on invading France and to distract him from the thought of confiscating the Church’s lands and then using the lands as a revenue source. Canterbury earlier had let the king know most assuredly that the Church would help finance a war effort with France. He smoothly describes how well honeybees work together for a common purpose, noting that “Heaven doth divide the state of man into diverse functions.”

Henry V/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “As ‘tis ever common that men are merriest when they are from home.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 283-284.  Henry V to the French Ambassador.  Henry V has received a “treasure chest”
full of tennis balls as a gift from the Dauphin, and he’s real upset about
it.  He tells the Ambassador that the
Dauphin “demeans me o’er us with our wilder days.”  He acknowledges “we never valued this poor
seat of England.”  He offers the
Ambassador this quote.

Henry V/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “If little faults caused by drunkenness shall not be winked at, how shall we
open wide our eyes when capital crimes appear before us?”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 2,
Lines 55-59.  Henry V to the
assembled.  The young king has just pardoned a man for yelling at him the day before, suggesting that the man had had too much to drink. The three nobles before him all have suggested that the man be punished. The king then offers them this quote. The king is about to hand papers to the three nobles, accusing them of treason. The men, who wanted to punish the relatively innocent man, will be convicted of treason and be hanged.

Henry V/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “So finely sifted didst thou seem.  Thus
thy fall hath left a kind of blot to mark the man fully endowed with the best
qualities with some suspicion.”

Answer: 2.2, Lines 144-147.
Henry V to the three traitors.
The king has let the three noblemen, Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, know how disappointed he is with them, the three being, the king believes, among the best England has to offer. They are judged to be traitors, accused of treason, and will be hanged. Cambridge is the earl of Cambridge, the older son of the Duke of York, the fifth son of Edward III. The royal lineage doesn’t get much thicker than that. He was the king’s uncle.

Henry V/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Trust none, for oaths are straws; men’s faiths are wafer cakes.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 3, Lines 49-51.  Pistol to Hostess Quickly, his wife.  The scene is the Eastcheap Tavern. The men have just learned that their good friend, John Falstaff, has died. The three of them are off to France, to fight alongside the king, their ex-buddy, the ex-Prince Hal. Pistol offers this counsel to his wife as he is about to leave for Southampton. Henry V has now invaded France.

Henry V/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “’Tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 4,
Lines 45-46.  Dauphin to Constable.  The French king and the Constable of France are both very concerned with the thought of facing the young English king and his “well supplied noble councilors.” The French king has noted how Henry V’s grand uncle, the Black Prince, had run roughshod over the French decades ago. The Dauphin is dismissive of Henry V. But to help keep peace in the family, the family being the French court, the Dauphin offers this backhanded complimentary quote.

Henry V/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “On your head will turn the widow’s tears, the orphans’ cries, the dead men’s
blood, the deprived maidens’ groans, for husbands, fathers, and betrothed
lovers shall be swallowed in this controversy.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 4, Lines 112-117.  Exeter to the French King.  This quote is part of the “merry message” Exeter delivers to France’s king; that is if he chooses not to “deliver up the crown” to Henry V. The crown is the French crown. Exeter plays hardball.