Investigate Character Relationships

  • Henry V

    Henry is the King of England. He believes he is the true heir to the French throne and, when Charles VI refuses to return the throne to him, he declares war on France. At the beginning of the play, Henry has a reputation as being reckless and irresponsible in his youth but proves himself to be a formidable and fair leader and an honourable man. He ends the play as heir to the French throne, welcomed by the French court.

    Facts we learn about Henry at the start of the play:

    • He has a legal claim to the throne of France.
    • He will only go to war if the claim is legal.
    • He has abandoned his old drinking friend, Falstaff.

    Things they say:

    ‘We are no tyrant, but a Christian king, / Unto whose grace our passion is as subject / As are our wretches fettered in our prisons.’ (Henry, 1:2)

    Henry wants people to believe he has a tight control over his emotions and is not cruel and unreasonable.

    ‘What is’t to me, when you yourselves are cause, / If your pure maidens fall into the hand / Of hot and forcing violation?’ (Henry, 3:3)

    Henry is a dangerous enemy and can make terrible threats when necessary to get what he wants.

    ‘A good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon — or rather the sun and not the moon, for it shines bright and never changes, but keeps his course truly.’ (Henry 5:2)

    Henry wants Katherine to believe he has a good heart and is faithful and reliable. He is very charming and better than he says he is at speaking from the heart.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘The breath no sooner left his father’s body, / But that his wildness, mortified in him, / Seemed to die too.’ (Canterbury, 1:1)

    The bishops believe his father’s death made Henry realise his responsibilities as King and change his ways.

    ‘With what great state he heard their embassy, / How well supplied with noble counsellors, / How modest in exception, and withal / How terrible in constant resolution.’ (The Constable, 2:4)

    The Constable believes Henry has excellent self-control, is very modest and surrounded by good advisors. However, he is not to be underestimated, his threats are serious and to be feared.

    ‘Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride; / Giving full trophy, signal and ostent / Quite from himself to God.’ (Chorus, 5: Prologue)

    The Chorus wants us to believe Henry is a modest and religious man. He does not parade as a hero when he returns to England but gives credit for his victory in France entirely to God.

  • Katherine

    Princess Katherine is the daughter of King Charles VI of France. As a princess, she is a very valuable prize and Charles includes her in an early deal he offers Henry and she is top of Henry’s peace demands when he wins the war. Katherine must do what her father wants but she is intelligent and naturally wary of men. She doesn’t speak English and relies on her maid, Alice, to teach and translate for her.

    Facts we learn about Katherine at the start of the play :

    • She is the daughter of the King of France.
    • She doesn’t speak much English.
    • She is aware that she must marry Henry if her father wishes it.
    • She has a maid called Alice.

    Things they say:

    ‘Je te prie, m’enseignez: il faut que j’apprenne a` parler.’ (Katherine, 3:4)

    Katherine knows that she must marry Henry if her father tells her to and she is obedient and intelligent enough to know that learning English will help her.

    ‘Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of France?’ (Katherine, 5:2)

    Katherine is brave enough to remind Henry that he is her enemy. She is loyal to France so asking her to love him, the enemy of France, is very difficult and may be impossible.

    'Laissez, mon seigneur laissez, laissez: ma foi, je ne veux point que vous abaissiez votre grandeur en baisant la main d’une, de votre seigneurie, indigne serviteur.’ (Katherine, 5:2)

    Either Katherine really believes that she is merely a ‘lowly servant’ to Henry or she is playing a courtly game, as a princess who must get married.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘The King doth offer him / Katherine his daughter, and with her, to dowry, / Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.’ (Chorus, 3: Prologue)

    Katherine is seen as a prize to be bargained with just like a title or piece of land.

    ‘If ever thou beest mine, Kate, as I have a saving faith within me tells me thou shalt, I get thee with scambling, and thou must therefore needs prove a good soldier-breeder.’ (Henry, 5:2)

    Katherine is not a push-over. Henry knows he must work hard to win her confidence and expects her to have children in the future who will become soldiers.

  • King Charles VI

    Charles VI is the King of France. He is married to Queen Isabel and is father to Katherine and the dauphin. He is intelligent and has good judgement. He knows that Henry is a proper threat because his ancestors have terrorised France in the past. He offers Henry a deal to stop the war but, when Henry refuses, Charles shows that he is no coward and refuses to back down. When Henry wins the Battle of Agincourt, Charles shows himself to be clever and tactful, agreeing to all of Henry’s demands and naming him as heir.

    Facts we learn about Charles VI at the start of the play:

    • He is the King of France.
    • His throne is under threat from Henry.
    • He takes Henry seriously as Henry’s ancestors have terrorised France in the past.

    Things they say:

    ‘Think we King Harry strong, / And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him. / The kindred of him hath been fleshed upon us, / And he is bred out of that bloody strain / That haunted us in our familiar paths.’ (Charles, 2:4)

    Charles knows that Henry’s ancestors have shamed and injured France in the past. Therefore it makes sense to be wary of Henry, who may do the same.

    ‘Say thou to Harry of England, though we seemed dead, we did but sleep. Advantage is a better soldier than rashness. Tell him we could have rebuked him at Harfleur, but that we thought not good to bruise an injury till it were full ripe. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial.’ (Charles, 3:6)

    Charles can make strong threats. However, his words here could sound a bit like an excuse. He is covering for the failure of his son, the dauphin, to protect Harfleur.

    ‘Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up / Issue to me, that the contending kingdoms / Of France and England, whose very shores look pale / With envy of each other’s happiness, / May cease their hatred.’ (Charles, 5:2)

    Charles shows grace in defeat. He wants peace between France and England to come from the marriage of his daughter to his enemy.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘Howbeit they would hold up this Salic law / To bar your highness claiming from the female, /And rather choose to hide them in a net / Than amply to imbar their crooked titles / Usurped from you and your progenitors.’ (Canterbury, 1:3)

    Charles is using the same law that his ancestors used to prevent Henry from inheriting the French throne through his female ancestors. This law is not legal in France so he has no right to the Crown. The bishops argue that Charles is being hypocritical in barring Henry’s claim to the throne because Charles’ own claim to the throne includes inheriting through the female line. (Many in Shakespeare’s audience would know that Henry’s own claim to the English throne barred more direct descendants through the female line. This is connected to the traitor plot. Historically they were trying to put Edmund on the throne, who was a more direct descendant of Edward III).

    ‘Thy fault France hath in thee found out, / A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills / With treacherous crowns, and three corrupted men.’ (The Chorus, 2: Prologue)

    The Chorus tells us that Charles has paid three English noblemen in a plot to kill Henry.

    ‘Only he hath not yet subscribed this: where your majesty demands, that the King of France, having any occasion to write for matter of grant, shall name your highness in this form.’ (Exeter, 5:2)

    Charles has not agreed to Henry’s demand to be named as his heir. He has agreed to everything else and left this until last. This maybe shows how reluctant he is to agree it or that he wants to be asked formally by Henry.

  • The dauphin

    The dauphin is the heir to the French throne and his position is directly threatened by Henry. He has heard about Henry’s wild youth and, at the beginning of the play, doesn’t believe he is a threat. He mocks Henry and ignores the wiser opinions of his father and advisors. He is self-absorbed and boastful and Henry’s victory at Agincourt shocks him. His character disappears from the play after the battle and Henry takes his place as heir.

    Facts we learn about the Dauphin at the start of the play:

    • He is the eldest son and heir of Charles VI.
    • He does not believe Henry or England are serious threats to France.
    • He sends an insulting gift to Henry.

    Things they say:

    ‘Say, if my father render fair return, / It is against my will, for I desire/ Nothing but odds with England.’ (The dauphin, 2:4)

    The dauphin isn’t interested in making a deal with Henry, he just wants to fight England.

    ‘I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus: ‘Wonder of nature’—’ (The dauphin, 3:7)

    The dauphin is self-centred and gets so lost in boasting about his horse that he doesn’t realise how ridiculous he sounds.

    'Mort de ma vie! All is confounded, all. / Reproach and everlasting shame / Sits mocking in our plumes’ (The dauphin, 4:5)

    The dauphin never expected to lose this battle. The shame is too much and he wants to die.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘So get you hence in peace, and tell the dauphin / His jest will savour but of shallow wit, / When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.’ (Henry, 1:2)

    The dauphin mocks Henry but Henry sees it as a challenge.

    ‘The dauphin, whom of succours we entreated, / Returns us that his powers are yet not ready / To raise so great a siege: therefore, great king, / We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.’ (Governor, 3:3)

    The dauphin is not ready to defend Harfluer when they need it, and the town has to surrender to Henry.

    ‘Ev’n as your horse bears your praises, who would trot as well, were some of your brags dismounted.’ (The Constable, 3:7)

    The dauphin brags a lot and is not respected by the Constable.

  • The Eastcheap Three

    The Eastcheap Three, Pistol, Nym and Bardolph, are old drinking friends of Henry and represent his wilder, less responsible days from before he was King. Henry has now changed his ways but they haven’t and are quick to quarrel, even when their friend, Falstaff, lies dying. The three men go to France full of fighting talk but spend their time trying to make money and avoiding battle. During the play, their fortunes take a turn for the worst.

    Facts we learn about these three men at the start of the play:

    • Pistol has married Nym’s fiancé, Mistress Nell Quickly.
    • Pistol and Nym have fallen out with each other.
    • Their great friend, Falstaff, is dying and they all blame Henry.
    • The three men are off to France to fight for Henry.

    Things they say:

    ‘Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France together. Why the devil should we keep knives to cut one another’s throats?’ (Bardolph, 2:1)

    They argue a lot, but Bardolph wants them to think about the war instead of their fights.

    ‘You cannot conjure me. I have an humour to knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms. If you would walk off, I would prick your guts a little, in good terms.’ (Nym, 2:1)

    Nym has been hurt by Pistol and is ready for revenge.

    ‘Well, bawd I’ll turn, / And something lean to cutpurse of quick hand. / To England will I steal, and there I’ll steal, / And patches will I get unto these cudgelled scars, / And swear I got them in the Gallia wars.’ (Pistol, 5:1)

    Pistol has reached rock bottom. He intends to make a living as a thief and a pimp and to lie about his involvement in the war when he gets back.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘For Bardolph, he is white-livered and red-faced; by the means whereof a faces it out, but fights not. For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword; by the means whereof a breaks words, and keeps whole weapons. For Nym, he hath heard that men of few words are the best men, and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest a should be thought a coward.’ (The Boy, 3:2)

    Bardolph is a drunk, full of fighting talk that he is too cowardly to act on; Pistol prefers to use his sharp tongue rather than draw his sword; Nym is so desperate not to be thought a coward that he says nothing at all.

    ‘Why, ’tis a gull a fool, a rogue, that now and then goes to the wars to grace himself at his return into London under the form of a soldier.’ (Gower, 3:6)

    Pistol is so well known for being a thief and a pimp that Gower recognises him. He is also likely to lie about his own actions in war to gain glory.

    ‘I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart. But the saying is true, ‘The empty vessel makes the greatest sound’. Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil i’th’old play, that everyone may pare his nails with a wooden dagger, and they are both hanged, and so would this be, if he durst steal anything adventurously.’ (The Boy, 4:4)

    Pistol is even worse than regular thieves such as Nym and Bardolph because he gets money through sly and underhand ways such as lying and bragging.

  • Exeter

    Exeter is Henry’s uncle and acts as an advisor and loyal ambassador to him. He supports Henry throughout the play, is proud of him and speaks fiercely on his behalf in the French court. He is not afraid of his emotions and is close enough to his nephew to share them with him after the battle of Agincourt.

    Facts we learn about Exeter at the start of the play:

    • He believes Henry should go to war with France.
    • He is intelligent and presents a reasonable argument.
    • He has a sense of humour.

    Things they say:

    ‘And be assured, you’ll find a diff’rence, / As we his subjects have in wonder found, / Between the promise of his greener days / And these he masters now.’ (Exeter, 2:4)

    Exeter was surprised and thrilled to see Henry change his ways and is proud of the King he has become.

    ‘Upon these words I came and cheered him up. / He smiled me in the face, raught me his hand / And with a feeble grip says, ‘Dear my lord, / Commend my service to my sovereign.’ (Exeter, 4:6)

    Exeter has close friendships within the Army and is brave and kind enough to comfort a dying man and make sure he delivers his dying words.

    ‘The pretty and sweet manner of it forced / Those waters from me which I would have stopped, / But I had not so much of man in me, / And all my mother came into mine eyes / And gave me up to tears.’ (Exeter, 4:6)

    Exeter is not afraid to tell Henry that he was so moved by his friend’s death that he cried and that they were loving, caring tears worthy of his mother.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘Come, uncle Exeter, / Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain, / And fortify it strongly gainst the French. / Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle, / The winter coming on and sickness growing / Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.’ (Henry, 3:3)

    Henry knows Exeter is trustworthy and able to complete this huge and difficult task. He is also honourable enough to show mercy to the enemy.

    ‘The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon, and a man that I love and honour with my soul and my heart and my duty and my life and my living and my uttermost power.’ (Fluellen, 3:6)

    We know Fluellen likes exaggerating but he seems to think Exeter is an excellent leader.

    ‘Exeter hath given the doom of death / For pax of little price.’ (Pistol, 3:6)

    Exeter has strong principles and believes that looting from from an enemy during war is a serious crime.

  • Fluellen

    Fluellen is a Welsh Captain in Henry’s Army. He is extremely proud of being Welsh and is thrilled that Henry has Welsh blood too and he can call himself a blood-relative of his King. He is a loyal and passionate soldier who enjoys discussing battle history. He makes an enemy of Pistol and teaches him a valuable lesson at the end of the play.

    Facts we learn about Fluellen at the start of the play:

    • He is a Welsh Captain.
    • He is fierce and brave.
    • He is very interested in warfare and its history.
    • He is honest and says what he thinks.

    Things they say:

    ‘Look you, if you take the matter otherwise than is meant, Captain MacMorris, peradventure I shall think you do not use me with that affability as in discretion you ought to use me, look you, being as good a man as yourself, both in the disciplines of war, and in the derivation of my birth, and in other particularities.’ (Fluellen, 3:2)

    Fluellen is direct and says what he thinks. He is quick to stop Macmorris taking offence at something he didn’t mean. He sees Macmorris as an equal and expects to be treated as one.

    ‘Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at, for if, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his good pleasure and put him to execution; for discipline ought to be used.’ (Fluellen, 3:6)

    Fluellen has very strong principles. He believes in strict discipline, especially during war and that crime should be punished, however close you are to the person who did it.

    ‘By Jeshu, I am your majesty’s countryman, I care not who know it. I will confess it to all the ’orld. I need not to be ashamed of your majesty, praised be God, so long as your majesty is an honest man.’ (Fluellen, 4:7)

    Fluellen is incredibly proud of being Welsh and even more proud that this connects him to his King.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘Though it appear a little out of fashion, There is much care and valour in this Welshman.’ (Henry, 4:1)

    Fluellen has some old-fashioned views because he gets a lot of his knowledge from ancient history but he is clearly careful and brave and Henry recognises this.

    ‘I do know Fluellen valiant / And, touched with choler, hot as gunpowder, / And quickly will return an injury.’ (Henry, 4:7)

    Fluellen is brave but has a short fuse and is very quick to fight back if he or someone he cares about is injured.

    ‘Enough, captain, you have astonished him.’ (Gower, 5:1)

    Fluellen can go over the top with his punishment, especially if someone criticises the Welsh.

  • The Boy

    The Boy is Falstaff’s servant. After Falstaff’s death, he joins Pistol, Nym and Bardolph as their page in France. Although he would rather be at home when the fighting starts, the Boy shows himself to have good morals and wants to be a decent man. He starts to despise his Eastcheap masters when he sees how they behave during war. For a low status character, the Boy is an important voice and Shakespeare gives him two soliloquies. His death, together with that of the other page boys in Act 5, is an emotional moment in the play.

    Facts we learn about the Boy at the start of the play:

    • He is Falstaff’s servant.
    • He is with Falstaff in his dying moments.
    • He is going to France with the Eastcheap Three to serve in the war.

    Things they say:

    ‘Would I were in an ale-house in London: I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.’ (The Boy, 3:2)

    The fighting is dangerous and the Boy would rather be safe in a pub than make a name for himself in battle.

    ‘I must leave them, and seek some better service: their villainy goes against my weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up.’ (The Boy, 3:2)

    The Boy doesn’t want to be friends with the Eastcheap Three. He wants to work for better, more honourable men.

    ‘I do not know the French for fer and ferret and firk.’ (The Boy, 4:4)

    The Boy is more educated than Pistol. He can speak French well and finds it hard to translate Pistol’s rude and coarse language.

    Things others say about them:

    'Away, you rogue!’ (Bardolph, 2:1)

    The Boy is not afraid to joke with and insult others, even Bardolph, who is much older.

    ‘Boy, bristle thy courage up, for Falstaff he is dead, And we must earn therefore.’ (Pistol, 2:1)

    The Boy has earned a living by serving Falstaff. Now that his master is dead, he must earn money another way.

  • The Constable

    The Constable is the commander-in-chief of the French Army. He is intelligent and loyal to his King. He respects Henry and recognises the threat he is to France, but is keen to go to war and convinced his troops will win against the English. He is horrified when the French are losing but brave enough to run back to fight. He dies in the battle of Agincourt.

    Things they say:

    ‘This becomes the great. / Sorry am I his numbers are so few, / His soldiers sick and famished in their march, / For I am sure, when he shall see our army, / He’ll drop his heart into the sink of fear / And for achievement offer us his ransom.’ (The Constable, 3:5)

    The Constable is extremely confident that his troops will win and strike terror into Henry’s weakened Army. He is expecting Henry to surrender quickly. As commander-in-chief, the Constable has in fact read the situation well. The French Army does outnumber Henry’s, who are not looking strong.

    ‘Tut, I have the best armour of the world. Would it were day!’ (The Constable, 3:7)

    The Constable is impatient for the battle to begin. This shows his bravery and fearlessness. However, his wording suggest that he is boastful in his attitude.

    ‘Disorder that hath spoiled us, friend us now. Let us on heaps go offer up our lives.’ (The Constable, 4:5)

    The French seem to have lost but the Constable will not give up hope that there may be a chance of winning. He is prepared to fight to the bitter end.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘Let him greet England with our sharp defiance. Up, princes, and with spirit of honour edged More sharper than your swords, hie to the field: Charles Delabret, High Constable of France.’ (Charles, 3:5)

    Charles includes the Constable in his list of noblemen and knights who he is trusting to overcome Henry and take him prisoner. He is therefore a person of important rank and a well respected fighter. He is the highest ranked in time of battle, hence named first.

    ‘That may be, for you bear a many superfluously and ’twere more honour some were away.’ (The dauphin, 3:7)

    The Constable has won a lot of stars for bravery and honour in war. However, the dauphin thinks he is showing off by wearing them all on his uniform and would look more honourable by wearing fewer.

    'Tis not the first time you were The Constable is quick witted in this scene. However, Orléans reminds him that he has lost in archery many times, which is also a reminder that he doesn’t always win at everything.

  • Montjoy

    Montjoy is a herald who works for the French court. Both Charles VI and the Constable use him to deliver and take messages to Henry during the war. Montjoy has a very responsible and possibly dangerous job as he has to deliver some very strong threats. However, he shows great respect to Henry every time he meets him and is very diplomatic. As a result, Henry treats him fairly, right to the end of the play.

    Things they say:

    ‘To this add defiance, and tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose condemnation is pronounced. So far my king and master; so much my office.’ (Montjoy, 3:6)

    Montjoy carefully separates himself from the message by directly quoting Charles. In this way, he makes it clear he is not insulting Henry himself and is just doing his job.

    ‘Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry, / If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound, / Before thy most assure`d overthrow.’ (Montjoy, 4:3)

    Montjoy is clever and sensitive, he knows the Constable’s message might upset Henry so he softens the blow by calling him Harry and therefore reminding him that he is not his personal enemy, just the messenger. Such familiarity could also be seen as an insult. At this stage the French are certain of victory and Montjoy is saying so.

    ‘I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well: / Thou never shalt hear herald any more.’ (Montjoy, 4:3)

    Again, Montjoy is clever and polite. He reminds Henry that they are not enemies by calling him Harry and promising not to bother him again.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘Therefore, lord constable, haste on Montjoy, / And let him say to England that we send / To know what willing ransom he will give.—’ (Charles, 3:5)

    Charles trusts Montjoy to deliver a dangerous message. It is not an easy message to deliver for any herald so it’s a huge responsibility for Montjoy.

    ‘What is thy name? I know thy quality.’ (Henry, 3:6)

    Montjoy has delivered his message so clearly and well that Henry recognises how good a messenger he is and bothers to ask his name (although he doesn’t use or probably even remember it).

    ‘His eyes are humbler than they used to be.’ (Gloucester, 4:7)

    Montjoy knows the French have lost and that he is about to ask a favour of Henry.

Explore their relationships

Henry V

  • Henry-Katherine

    Henry and Katherine don’t know each other at the beginning of the play. She is the daughter of his enemy. However, Katherine tries to learn some English words in Act 3 Scene 4, suggesting that she is aware she will have to marry Henry if he takes the French throne.

    'Je te prie, m’enseignez: il faut que j’apprenne a` parler.' (I pray you to teach me: I must learn to speak it.) (3:3)

    They are left alone in Act 5 Scene 2. Henry shows that he sees Katherine as more than just a war prize and wants a close, loving relationship with her. The fact that they can’t speak each other’s language is a barrier and Katherine does not trust him.

    'Do you like me, Kate?' (5:2)
    'O bon Dieu! Les langues des hommes sont pleines de tromperies.' (O good God! The tongues of men are full of deceits.) (5:2)

    Henry is very honest with Katherine about what kind of a man he is and how he feels about her. She is doubtful about her ability to love him back as he is her enemy.

    'I speak to thee plain soldier: if thou canst love me for this, take me: if not, to say to thee that I shall die, is true' (5:2)
    'Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of France?' (5:2)

    Henry shows sensitivity to Katherine’s worries and tries to give her peace of mind. Katherine says that marrying him will please her father but she won’t let Henry kiss her hand as they are not married. Henry dismisses this rule and kisses her, saying that as the two of them will have the power, they will make the rules.

    'No, it is not possible you should love the enemy of France, Kate; but in loving me, you should love the friend of France, for I love France so well that I will not part with a village of it' (5:2)
    'Dat is as it sall please de roi mon pe`re.' (That is as it shall please the king, my father) (5:2)

    Their relationship is still very one-sided when the others enter in Act 5 Scene 2 when Henry admits to Burgundy that he hasn’t been very successful in wooing Katherine. After listening to Burgundy’s advice on how to handle women, Henry seems more confident.

    'Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.' (5:2)

  • Henry-Exeter

    Exeter advises Henry on political matters, reminding him of the success of his ancestors. Henry trusts his uncle’s advice and when Henry delivers his threats to the dauphin, Exeter shows an informal closeness to his nephew.

    'Send for him, good uncle.' (1:2)
    'This was a merry message.' (1:2)

    Exeter is disgusted by the traitors’ plot against Henry and supports his nephew.

    'That he should for a foreign purse so sell / His sovereign’s life to death and treachery.' (2:2)

    Henry trusts Exeter to go to France as his ambassador. Exeter paints a fierce picture of how his nephew will behave if Charles VI doesn’t give up the throne. He also defends Henry to the dauphin, showing his admiration for how Henry’s grown up.

    'And be assured, you’ll find a diff’rence, / As we his subjects have in wonder found, / Between the promise of his greener days / And these he masters now.' (2:4)

    In Act 4 Scene 6, Exeter admits to Henry that he cried when he saw York and Suffolk die. Henry’s reply finishes Exeter’s line of verse, showing how quick Henry is to reassure his uncle that he is also moved and that Exeter has nothing to be ashamed of.

    'All my mother came into mine eyes / And gave me up to tears.' (4:6).
    'I blame you not, / For hearing this, I must perforce compound / With mixed-full eyes, or they will issue too.' (4:6)

  • Henry-The Boy

    The relationship is quite loyal at the start of the play as the Boy joins the Eastcheap Three to fight for Henry in the war. It is mostly a one-sided relationship as Henry never meets the Boy and, during the fighting at the siege of Harfleur, the Boy wishes he was back safe at home.

    'Would I were in an ale-house in London: I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.’ (3:2)

    The relationship stays loyal in Act 4, when the Boy is disgusted at Pistol’s lack of valour and leaves him to join the page boys at the English camp.

    'I must stay with the lackeys, with the luggage of our camp.' (4: 4)

    Henry never meets the Boy but he is furious when the French kill all the pages who were guarding the English camp, and this must include the Boy, who we know is there.

    'I was not angry since I came to France until this instant.' (4:7)

  • Henry-Eastcheap 3

    Bardolph, Pistol and Nym are about to leave for France to fight for Henry. However, their friend Falstaff is dying, and they all blame Henry for abandoning him, breaking his heart and making him ill when he became King and turned his back on them.

    Bardolph says: 'Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France together.' (2:1)
    Nym says: 'The king is a good king, but it must be as it may, he passes some humours and careers.' (2:1)

    While the Eastcheap Three are away fighting for Henry, Nym wants to hang back because the fighting is too dangerous and Pistol agrees with the Boy that he’d rather be back in the pub than in the war. However, Bardolph encourages others to fight and copies Henry’s words.

    Bardolph says: 'On, on, on, on, on! To the breach, to the breach!' (3:2)
    Nym says: 'Pray thee, corporal, stay: the knocks are too hot, and for mine own part, I have not a case of lives.' (3:2)

    Bardolph is then caught stealing from a French church. Henry shows no emotion at this news of his old friend but orders that he be executed as an example.

    Fluellen says: 'I think the duke hath lost never a man, but one that is like to be executed for robbing a church, one Bardolph, if your majesty know the man.' (3:6)
    Henry says: 'We would have all such offenders so cut off: and we give express charge, that in our marches through the country, there be nothing compelled from the villages.' (3:6)

    After Bardolph’s execution, Pistol meets the disguised Henry. He praises the King, not knowing he is talking to him. Pistol leaves in anger after Henry tells him he is related to Fluellen but the King’s only comment on his old friend is that his name suits his temper.

    Pistol says: 'The king’s a bawcock, and a heart of gold, / A lad of life, an imp of fame, / Of parents good, of fist most valiant. / I kiss his dirty shoe.' (4:1)
    Henry says: 'It sorts well with your fierceness.' (4:1)

    Pistol is more interested in making money from the war than winning it for his King. In Act 4 Scene 4, Pistol captures a French soldier and is ready to set him free for money. The Boy tells us that Nym has been hanged for looting too, a crime that Henry has forbidden, but he questions why.

    Pistol says: 'Peasant, unless thou give me crowns, brave crowns; Or mangled shalt thou be by this my sword.' (4:4)
    The Boy says: 'Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil i’th’old play, that everyone may pare his nails with a wooden dagger, and they are both hanged.' (4:4)

  • Henry-Fluellen

    The sense of duty and loyalty Fluellen has for Henry is fairly strong in Act 3 when they invade France. In Act 3, Scene 2, we see Fluellen fiercely chase the Eastcheap Three into the breach when they ignore Henry’s command.

    'Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt, you cullions!' (3:2)

    The relationship shows more loyalty when Fluellen refuses to defend Bardolph from being executed in Act 3, Scene 6. It is a difficult opinion to hold but shows that Fluellen and Henry agree on the importance of discipline and what is fair in war. When Fluellen tells Henry about Bardolph’s crime, Henry’s reaction is the same.

    'If, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his good pleasure and put him to execution; for discipline ought to be used.' (3:6)
    'We would have all such offenders so cut off.' (3:6)

    Henry, in disguise, overhears Fluellen’s common sense about noise in the Army camp. Henry admires Fluellen’s knowledge and spirit and the respect between them deepens.

    'It is the greatest admiration in the universal world, when the true and aunchient prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept.' (4:1)
    'Though it appear a little out of fashion, / There is much care and valour in this Welshman.' (4:1)

    Fluellen and Henry bond over both having Welsh blood. Fluellen tells Henry that he knows he wears a leek on St. David’s Day to honour the loyalty of the Welsh.

    'I wear it for a memorable honour, / For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.' (4:7)
    'God bless it and preserve it, as long as it pleases his grace, and his majesty too!' (4:7)

    The relationship stays strong in Act 4, Scene 7 when Henry trusts Fluellen to uncover a traitor. Henry is actually playing a trick on Williams but Fluellen does not know this and is honoured all the same. So he’s playing a trick on Fluellen too… Henry tells his men to follow Fluellen to stop him attacking Williams by mistake, as he knows Fluellen is honourable and eager to punish a traitor.

    'Your grace does me as great honours as can be desired in the hearts of his subjects.’ (4:7)
    'For I do know Fluellen valiant / And, touched with choler, hot as gunpowder, / And quickly will return an injury.' (4:7)

Katherine

  • Katherine-Henry V

    Henry and Katherine don’t know each other at the beginning of the play. She is the daughter of his enemy. However, Katherine tries to learn some English words in Act 3 Scene 4, suggesting that she is aware she will have to marry Henry if he takes the French throne.

    'Je te prie, m’enseignez: il faut que j’apprenne a` parler.' (I pray you to teach me: I must learn to speak it.) (3:3)

    They are left alone in Act 5 Scene 2. Henry shows that he sees Katherine as more than just a war prize and wants a close, loving relationship with her. The fact that they can’t speak each other’s language is a barrier and Katherine does not trust him.

    He says: 'Do you like me, Kate?' (5:2)
    'O bon Dieu! Les langues des hommes sont pleines de tromperies.' (O good God! The tongues of men are full of deceits.) (5:2)

    Henry is very honest with Katherine about what kind of a man he is and how he feels about her. She is doubtful about her ability to love him back as he is her enemy.

    'I speak to thee plain soldier: if thou canst love me for this, take me: if not, to say to thee that I shall die, is true' (5:2)
    She says: 'Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of France?' (5:2)

    Henry shows sensitivity to Katherine’s worries and tries to give her peace of mind. Katherine says that marrying him will please her father but she won’t let Henry kiss her hand as they are not married. Henry dismisses this rule and kisses her, saying that as the two of them will have the power, they will make the rules.

    'No, it is not possible you should love the enemy of France, Kate; but in loving me, you should love the friend of France, for I love France so well that I will not part with a village of it' (5:2)
    'Dat is as it sall please de roi mon pe`re.' (That is as it shall please the king, my father) (5:2)

    Their relationship is still very one-sided when the others enter in Act 5 Scene 2 when Henry admits to Burgundy that he hasn’t been very successful in wooing Katherine. After listening to Burgundy’s advice on how to handle women, Henry seems more confident.

    'Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.' (5:2)

  • Katherine-King Charles VI

    Their relationship is neither strong nor weak at the start of the play but it is led by duty. Katherine, as a woman and a royal princess, has a duty to obey her father. The Chorus tells us in Act 3, that king Charles has offered Henry a deal which includes Katherine’s hand in marriage. This is something that would have been normal at the time and expected by Katherine.

    The Chorus says: 'the king doth offer him / Katherine his daughter, and with her, to dowry, / Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.' (3: Prologue).

    Katherine remains dutiful towards her father. She asks her maid to teach her some words in English in Act 3 Scene 4. If Henry wins the war, she is likely to end up married to him. She must obey her father and knows therefore that it is important to learn Henry’s language.

    'Je pense que je suis le bon e ́colier.' This means 'I think that I am a good pupil'. (3:4)

    In Act 5, scene 2, Henry woos Katherine, hoping to make her his wife and asks her repeatedly if she can love him. Katherine gives no clue to her own feelings but is entirely led by her father’s wishes, as would be expected of her.

    'Dat is as it sall please de roi mon pe`re.' This means 'That is as it shall please the king, my father'. (5:2)

    Their relationship stays dutiful to the end of the play, although this time we see both Katherine’s parents bless their daughter’s marriage to Henry. The marriage is important to Charles and Isabel as it means security for their family but they seem happy to have made a good match for Katherine.

    'Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up / Issue to me.' (5:2)
    Queen Isabel says: 'So be there ’twixt your kingdoms such a spousal, / That never may ill office, or fell jealousy, / Which troubles oft the bed of blesse`d marriage, / Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms.' (5:2)

King Charles VI

  • Charles VI-the dauphin

    They have a strong but very formal relationship at the start of the play. The dauphin dismisses his father’s fears about the English but Charles reminds him how France has suffered in the past from Henry’s ancestors. The dauphin is not convinced but shows respect when he gives his father advice.

    'Look you strongly arm to meet him. The kindred of him hath been fleshed upon us'. (2:4)
    'Good my sovereign, / Take up the English short, and let them know / Of what a monarchy you are the head.' (2:4)

    In Act 3 Scene 5 Charles is quite protective of his son when he makes the dauphin stay with him rather than join the troops. The king clearly wants his eldest son safe at his side, although this is also possibly to keep him out of trouble as the dauphin is very hot-headed.

    'Not so, I do beseech your majesty'. (3:5)
    'Be patient, for you shall remain with us.' (3:5)

    The dauphin is at the battle in Act 4 but his father is not with him. When Henry meets King Charles and Queen Isabel in Act 5 Scene 2, the dauphin is not there and is not mentioned. The King names Henry as his heir and gives his daughter Katherine to Henry in marriage but we never learn how the dauphin reacts or feels about being replaced as heir to the throne.

    'Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up / Issue to me'. (5:2)

  • King Charles VI - Katherine

    Their relationship is neither strong nor weak at the start of the play but it is led by duty. Katherine, as a woman and a royal princess, has a duty to obey her father. The Chorus tells us in Act 3, that king Charles has offered Henry a deal which includes Katherine’s hand in marriage. This is something that would have been normal at the time and expected by Katherine.

    The Chorus says: 'the king doth offer him / Katherine his daughter, and with her, to dowry, / Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.' (3: Prologue).

    Katherine remains dutiful towards her father. She asks her maid to teach her some words in English in Act 3 Scene 4. If Henry wins the war, she is likely to end up married to him. She must obey her father and knows therefore that it is important to learn Henry’s language.

    'Je pense que je suis le bon e ́colier.' This means 'I think that I am a good pupil'. (3:4)

    In Act 5, scene 2, Henry woos Katherine, hoping to make her his wife and asks her repeatedly if she can love him. Katherine gives no clue to her own feelings but is entirely led by her father’s wishes, as would be expected of her.

    'Dat is as it sall please de roi mon pe`re.' This means 'That is as it shall please the king, my father'. (5:2)

    Their relationship stays dutiful to the end of the play, although this time we see both Katherine’s parents bless their daughter’s marriage to Henry. The marriage is important to Charles and Isabel as it means security for their family but they seem happy to have made a good match for Katherine.

    'Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up / Issue to me.' (5:2)
    Queen Isabel says: 'So be there ’twixt your kingdoms such a spousal, / That never may ill office, or fell jealousy, / Which troubles oft the bed of blesse`d marriage, / Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms.' (5:2)

  • King Charles VI-Montjoy

    The relationship is strongly loyal at the start of the play. King Charles trusts Montjoy with the task of meeting Henry with a demand for his ransom (the amount of money Henry will pay if he is captured). Montjoy, as a herald, is employed to obey Charles, which he does, telling Henry his master’s thoughts clearly and respectfully.

    ’Where is Montjoy the herald? Speed him hence. / Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.' (3:5)
    'So far my king and master; so much my office.' (3:6)

    The relationship continues to be loyal in Act 4, Scene 7 but Montjoy knows that his own King has lost the war. He is a good herald and is therefore careful to be respectful to Henry, who he recognises is now more powerful than King Charles.

    'No, great king: / I come to thee for charitable licence, / That we may wander o’er this bloody field / To book our dead and then to bury them.’ (4:7)

  • King Charles VI - the Constable

    This a very loyal relationship right from the start of the play. The Constable is commander-in-chief of the French Army and is well aware of how France has lost in the past to England. He strongly backs the views of his King in Act 2, Scene 3, when the dauphin dismisses them.

    'O, peace, Prince Dauphin! / You are too much mistaken in this king.'

    The relationship continues to be very loyal in Act 3 when King Charles and the Constable are worried about how Henry is advancing in France. The two men agree that they must take action and Charles orders the Constable to join with the nobles to meet Henry and take him prisoner.

    'Up, princes, and with spirit of honour edged / More sharper than your swords, hie to the field: Charles Delabret, High Constable of France.' (3:5)
    'This becomes the great.' (3:5)

    The relationship stays loyal in Act 4, Scene 3 when the Constable echoes the action of his King in Act 3 and sends Montjoy the herald again for Henry’s ransom.

    Montjoy says: 'Thou needs must be englutted. / Besides, in mercy, The constable desires thee thou wilt mind / Thy followers of repentance.' (4:3)

    The relationship shows ultimate loyalty in Act 4 when the French are losing the battle of Agincourt but the Constable runs back into the chaos for one last fight. Henry later reads out his name on the list of French noblemen who have been killed. He has indeed died for his King.

    'Disorder that hath spoiled us, friend us now. Let us on heaps go offer up our lives.' (4:5)
    Henry says: 'The names of those their nobles that lie dead: Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France.' (4:8)

The dauphin

  • The dauphin-Charles VI

    They have a strong but very formal relationship at the start of the play. The dauphin dismisses his father’s fears about the English but Charles reminds him how France has suffered in the past from Henry’s ancestors. The dauphin is not convinced but shows respect when he gives his father advice.

    'Look you strongly arm to meet him. The kindred of him hath been fleshed upon us'. (2:4)
    'Good my sovereign, / Take up the English short, and let them know / Of what a monarchy you are the head.' (2:4)

    In Act 3 Scene 5 Charles is quite protective of his son when he makes the dauphin stay with him rather than join the troops. The king clearly wants his eldest son safe at his side, although this is also possibly to keep him out of trouble as the dauphin is very hot-headed.

    'Not so, I do beseech your majesty'. (3:5)
    'Be patient, for you shall remain with us.' (3:5)

    The dauphin is at the battle in Act 4 but his father is not with him. When Henry meets King Charles and Queen Isabel in Act 5 Scene 2, the dauphin is not there and is not mentioned. The King names Henry as his heir and gives his daughter Katherine to Henry in marriage but we never learn how the dauphin reacts or feels about being replaced as heir to the throne.

    'Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up / Issue to me.' (5:2)

  • The dauphin - the Constable

    This is not a particularly strong relationship at the start of the play but the Constable must show loyalty to the King’s eldest son and heir. However, he is not afraid to silence the dauphin in public when he disagrees with his views. The Constable knows the dauphin is hot-headed and carefully reminds him of the dignity Henry showed when the dauphin sent him a mocking gift of tennis balls. However, the dauphin dismisses his reasonable words.

    'O, peace, Prince Dauphin! / You are too much mistaken in this king. Question your grace the late ambassadors, / With what great state he heard their embassy.' (2:4)
    ’Well, ’tis not so, my lord high constable. But though we think it so, it is no matter.' (2:4)

    Their relationship seems a little stronger in Act 3 when both men unite over their feelings for Henry and the English. Henry’s troops are doing well in France and they share the same outrage at his success and disgust for the English.

    'O Dieu vivant! Shall a few sprays of us, The emptying of our fathers’ luxury.' (3:5)
    'Dieu de batailles! Where have they this mettle?' (3:5)

    The relationship becomes much weaker later on in Act 3, when the Constable teases the dauphin who won’t stop bragging about his horse. This quickly becomes an exchange between them, with the dauphin accusing the Constable of wearing too many stars. When the dauphin leaves, Orléans sticks up for the prince but the Constable calls the dauphin a bragging coward who will be useless in battle. Some interpret their exchange as good-humoured banter, while others see it as a more serious exchange of insults.

    'That may be, for you bear a many superfluously and ’twere more honour some were away.' (3:7)
    'Nor will do none tomorrow: he will keep that good name still.' (3:7)

    The relationship looks a tiny bit stronger in Act 4, Scene 2 when the battle begins and both men share the same thirst to fight.

    'Hark, how our steeds for present service neigh.' (4:2)
    'Mount them, and make incision in their hides, / That their hot blood may spin in English eyes, / And dout them with superfluous courage. Ha!' (4:2)

    The relationship is not much stronger in Act 4, when it’s clear the French are losing badly. However, the dauphin and the Constable are united in shock and shame.

    'O diable!' (3:7)
    'Mort de ma vie! All is confounded, all. / Reproach and everlasting shame'. (4:5)

The Eastcheap Three

  • Eastcheap 3 - Henry

    Bardolph, Pistol and Nym are about to leave for France to fight for Henry. However, their friend Falstaff is dying, and they all blame Henry for abandoning him, breaking his heart and making him ill when he became King and turned his back on them.

    Bardolph says: 'Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France together.' (2:1)
    Nym says: 'The king is a good king, but it must be as it may, he passes some humours and careers.' (2:1)

    While the Eastcheap Three are away fighting for Henry, Nym wants to hang back because the fighting is too dangerous and Pistol agrees with the Boy that he’d rather be back in the pub than in the war. However, Bardolph encourages others to fight and copies Henry’s words.

    Bardolph says: 'On, on, on, on, on! To the breach, to the breach!' (3:2)
    Nym says: 'Pray thee, corporal, stay: the knocks are too hot, and for mine own part, I have not a case of lives.' (3:2)

    Bardolph is then caught stealing from a French church. Henry shows no emotion at this news of his old friend but orders that he be executed as an example.

    Fluellen says: 'I think the duke hath lost never a man, but one that is like to be executed for robbing a church, one Bardolph, if your majesty know the man.' (3:6)
    Henry says: 'We would have all such offenders so cut off: and we give express charge, that in our marches through the country, there be nothing compelled from the villages.' (3:6)

    After Bardolph’s execution, Pistol meets the disguised Henry. He praises the King, not knowing he is talking to him. Pistol leaves in anger after Henry tells him he is related to Fluellen but the King’s only comment on his old friend is that his name suits his temper.

    Pistol says: 'The king’s a bawcock, and a heart of gold, / A lad of life, an imp of fame, / Of parents good, of fist most valiant. / I kiss his dirty shoe.' (4:1)
    Henry says: 'It sorts well with your fierceness.' (4:1)

    Pistol is more interested in making money from the war than winning it for his King. In Act 4 Scene 4, Pistol captures a French soldier and is ready to set him free for money. The Boy tells us that Nym has been hanged for looting too, a crime that Henry has forbidden, but he questions why.

    Pistol says: 'Peasant, unless thou give me crowns, brave crowns; Or mangled shalt thou be by this my sword.' (4:4)
    The Boy says: 'Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil i’th’old play, that everyone may pare his nails with a wooden dagger, and they are both hanged.' (4:4)

  • Eastcheap 3 - Fluellen

    Their relationship does not get off to a good start when they meet in Act 3. Fluellen catches the Eastcheap Three hanging back from the fighting rather than obeying Henry’s call to the breach. Fluellen is furious and moves them on. Pistol tries to appeal to him but his words are more mocking than genuine.

    Fluellen says: 'Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt, you cullions!' (3:2)
    Pistol says: 'Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould. Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage, / Abate thy rage, great duke! / Good bawcock, bate thy rage: use lenity, sweet chuck!' (3:2)

    Their relationship weakens in Act 3 when Fluellen wrongly assumes Pistol is a brave army lieutenant. Gower recognises Pistol as a thief and warns Fluellen that he’s met men like Pistol before who lie about their achievements in battle.

    Fluellen says: 'I tell you what, Captain Gower, I do perceive he is not the man that he would gladly make show to the world he is: if I find a hole in his coat, I will tell him my mind.' (3:6)

    The relationship weakens even further in Act 3, Scene 6 when Fluellen refuses Pistol’s heartfelt plea to save Bardolph from being hanged. Pistol is instantly angry with Fluellen when he says that a crime must be punished, even if you’re close to the person who did it.

    Fluellen says: 'Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at, for if, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his good pleasure and put him to execution.' (3:6)
    Pistol says: 'Die and be damned! And figo for thy friendship!' (3:6)

    The relationship is utterly finished in Act 5 when Pistol mocks Fluellen for wearing a leek. The proud Welshman takes revenge on Pistol by forcing him to eat the leek. He humiliates him utterly in front of Gower, who knows what a lying rogue Pistol is and shows no pity.

    Pistols says: 'Base Trojan, thou shalt die.' (5:1)
    Gower says: 'Go, go, you are a counterfeit cowardly knave.' (5:1)

  • The Eastcheap 3 - The Boy

    The relationship between the Boy and the Eastcheap Three is neither particularly weak or strong at the start of the play. The Boy is servant to their friend, Falstaff, and needs their help when he’s dying. However, his words irritate Bardolph instantly.

    The Boy says: 'Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan.' (2:1)
    Bardolph says: 'Away, you rogue!' (2:1)

    Their relationship seems a little stronger later in Act 2, after Falstaff has died. Pistol includes the Boy in his words of comfort to his friends and the Boy speaks easily in their company, sharing details of Falstaff’s death. The Boy is also about to travel to France with them as their servant.

    Pistol says: 'Bardolph, be blithe: Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins: Boy, bristle thy courage up, for Falstaff he is dead.' (2:3)
    The Boy says:'Do you not remember, a saw a flea stick upon Bardolph’s nose, and a said it was a black soul burning in hell?' (2:3)

    Their relationship falls apart in Act 4. Pistol uses the Boy to translate for a French soldier he has captured but when left alone, the Boy tells us he has no respect for the man who he now thinks is even worse than Bardolph and Nym.

    Pistol says: 'Come hither, boy. Ask me this slave in French / What is his name.' (4:4)
    The Boy says:‘The empty vessel makes the greatest sound’. Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil.' (4:4)

    Their relationship weakens a great deal in Act 3. After a brief moment when the Boy and Pistol wish they were at home and share a song, the Boy is left alone onstage. He tells the audience that he doesn’t think much of the three men who have shown themselves to be nothing but cowards and thieves. He vows to leave them in order to become a better man.

    Pistol says: 'And I: (sings) If wishes would prevail with me, My purpose should not fail with me, But thither would I hie.' (3:2)
    The Boy says:'I am boy to them all three, but all they three, though they would serve me, could not be man to me; for indeed three such antics do not amount to a man.' (3:2)

Exeter

  • Exeter-Henry

    Exeter advises Henry on political matters, reminding him of the success of his ancestors. Henry trusts his uncle’s advice and when Henry delivers his threats to the dauphin, Exeter shows an informal closeness to his nephew.

    'Send for him, good uncle.' (1:2)
    'This was a merry message.' (1:2)

    Exeter is disgusted by the traitors’ plot against Henry and supports his nephew.

    'That he should for a foreign purse so sell / His sovereign’s life to death and treachery.' (2:2)

    Henry trusts Exeter to go to France as his ambassador. Exeter paints a fierce picture of how his nephew will behave if Charles VI doesn’t give up the throne. He also defends Henry to the dauphin, showing his admiration for how Henry’s grown up.

    'And be assured, you’ll find a diff’rence, / As we his subjects have in wonder found, / Between the promise of his greener days / And these he masters now.' (2:4)

    In Act 4 Scene 6, Exeter admits to Henry that he cried when he saw York and Suffolk die. Henry’s reply finishes Exeter’s line of verse, showing how quick Henry is to reassure his uncle that he is also moved and that Exeter has nothing to be ashamed of.

    'All my mother came into mine eyes / And gave me up to tears.' (4:6).
    'I blame you not, / For hearing this, I must perforce compound / With mixed-full eyes, or they will issue too.' (4:6)

Fluellen

  • Fluellen - Eastcheap 3

    Their relationship does not get off to a good start when they meet in Act 3. Fluellen catches the Eastcheap Three hanging back from the fighting rather than obeying Henry’s call to the breach. Fluellen is furious and moves them on. Pistol tries to appeal to him but his words are more mocking than genuine.

    Fluellen says: 'Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt, you cullions!' (3:2)
    Pistol says: 'Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould. Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage, / Abate thy rage, great duke! / Good bawcock, bate thy rage: use lenity, sweet chuck!' (3:2)

    Their relationship weakens in Act 3 when Fluellen wrongly assumes Pistol is a brave army lieutenant. Gower recognises Pistol as a thief and warns Fluellen that he’s met men like Pistol before who lie about their achievements in battle.

    Fluellen says: 'I tell you what, Captain Gower, I do perceive he is not the man that he would gladly make show to the world he is: if I find a hole in his coat, I will tell him my mind.' (3:6)

    The relationship weakens even further in Act 3, Scene 6 when Fluellen refuses Pistol’s heartfelt plea to save Bardolph from being hanged. Pistol is instantly angry with Fluellen when he says that a crime must be punished, even if you’re close to the person who did it.

    Fluellen says: 'Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at, for if, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his good pleasure and put him to execution.' (3:6)
    Pistol says: 'Die and be damned! And figo for thy friendship!' (3:6)

    The relationship is utterly finished in Act 5 when Pistol mocks Fluellen for wearing a leek. The proud Welshman takes revenge on Pistol by forcing him to eat the leek. He humiliates him utterly in front of Gower, who knows what a lying rogue Pistol is and shows no pity.

    Pistols says: 'Base Trojan, thou shalt die.' (5:1)
    Gower says: 'Go, go, you are a counterfeit cowardly knave.' (5:1)

  • Fluellen-Henry

    The sense of duty and loyalty Fluellen has for Henry is fairly strong in Act 3 when they invade France. In Act 3, Scene 2, we see Fluellen fiercely chase the Eastcheap Three into the breach when they ignore Henry’s command.

    'Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt, you cullions!' (3:2)

    The relationship shows more loyalty when Fluellen refuses to defend Bardolph from being executed in Act 3, Scene 6. It is a difficult opinion to hold but shows that Fluellen and Henry agree on the importance of discipline and what is fair in war. When Fluellen tells Henry about Bardolph’s crime, Henry’s reaction is the same.

    'If, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his good pleasure and put him to execution; for discipline ought to be used.' (3:6)
    'We would have all such offenders so cut off.' (3:6)

    Henry, in disguise, overhears Fluellen’s common sense about noise in the Army camp. Henry admires Fluellen’s knowledge and spirit and the respect between them deepens.

    'It is the greatest admiration in the universal world, when the true and aunchient prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept.' (4:1)
    'Though it appear a little out of fashion, / There is much care and valour in this Welshman.' (4:1)

    Fluellen and Henry bond over both having Welsh blood. Fluellen tells Henry that he knows he wears a leek on St. David’s Day to honour the loyalty of the Welsh.

    'I wear it for a memorable honour, / For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.' (4:7)
    'God bless it and preserve it, as long as it pleases his grace, and his majesty too!' (4:7)

    The relationship stays strong in Act 4, Scene 7 when Henry trusts Fluellen to uncover a traitor. Henry is actually playing a trick on Williams but Fluellen does not know this and is honoured all the same. So he’s playing a trick on Fluellen too… Henry tells his men to follow Fluellen to stop him attacking Williams by mistake, as he knows Fluellen is honourable and eager to punish a traitor.

    'Your grace does me as great honours as can be desired in the hearts of his subjects.’ (4:7)
    'For I do know Fluellen valiant / And, touched with choler, hot as gunpowder, / And quickly will return an injury.' (4:7)

The Boy

  • The Boy-Henry

    The relationship is quite loyal at the start of the play as the Boy joins the Eastcheap Three to fight for Henry in the war. It is mostly a one-sided relationship as Henry never meets the Boy and, during the fighting at the siege of Harfleur, the Boy wishes he was back safe at home.

    'Would I were in an ale-house in London: I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.’ (3:2)

    The relationship stays loyal in Act 4, when the Boy is disgusted at Pistol’s lack of valour and leaves him to join the page boys at the English camp.

    'I must stay with the lackeys, with the luggage of our camp.' (4: 4)

    Henry never meets the Boy but he is furious when the French kill all the pages who were guarding the English camp, and this must include the Boy, who we know is there.

    'I was not angry since I came to France until this instant.' (4:7)

  • The Boy - The Eastcheap 3

    The relationship between the Boy and the Eastcheap Three is neither particularly weak or strong at the start of the play. The Boy is servant to their friend, Falstaff, and needs their help when he’s dying. However, his words irritate Bardolph instantly.

    The Boy says: 'Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan.' (2:1)
    Bardolph says: 'Away, you rogue!' (2:1)

    Their relationship seems a little stronger later in Act 2, after Falstaff has died. Pistol includes the Boy in his words of comfort to his friends and the Boy speaks easily in their company, sharing details of Falstaff’s death. The Boy is also about to travel to France with them as their servant.

    Pistol says: 'Bardolph, be blithe: Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins: Boy, bristle thy courage up, for Falstaff he is dead.' (2:3)
    The Boy says:'Do you not remember, a saw a flea stick upon Bardolph’s nose, and a said it was a black soul burning in hell?' (2:3)

    Their relationship weakens a great deal in Act 3. After a brief moment when the Boy and Pistol wish they were at home and share a song, the Boy is left alone onstage. He tells the audience that he doesn’t think much of the three men who have shown themselves to be nothing but cowards and thieves. He vows to leave them in order to become a better man.

    Pistol says: 'And I: (sings) If wishes would prevail with me, My purpose should not fail with me, But thither would I hie.' (3:2)
    The Boy says:'I am boy to them all three, but all they three, though they would serve me, could not be man to me; for indeed three such antics do not amount to a man.' (3:2)

    Their relationship falls apart in Act 4. Pistol uses the Boy to translate for a French soldier he has captured but when left alone, the Boy tells us he has no respect for the man who he now thinks is even worse than Bardolph and Nym.

    Pistol says: 'Come hither, boy. Ask me this slave in French / What is his name.' (4:4)
    The Boy says:‘The empty vessel makes the greatest sound’. Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil.' (4:4)

The Constable

  • The Constable - King Charles VI

    This a very loyal relationship right from the start of the play. The Constable is commander-in-chief of the French Army and is well aware of how France has lost in the past to England. He strongly backs the views of his King in Act 2, Scene 3, when the dauphin dismisses them.

    'O, peace, Prince Dauphin! / You are too much mistaken in this king.'

    The relationship continues to be very loyal in Act 3 when King Charles and the Constable are worried about how Henry is advancing in France. The two men agree that they must take action and Charles orders the Constable to join with the nobles to meet Henry and take him prisoner.

    'Up, princes, and with spirit of honour edged / More sharper than your swords, hie to the field: Charles Delabret, High Constable of France.' (3:5)
    'This becomes the great.' (3:5)

    The relationship stays loyal in Act 4, Scene 3 when the Constable echoes the action of his King in Act 3 and sends Montjoy the herald again for Henry’s ransom.

    Montjoy says: 'Thou needs must be englutted. / Besides, in mercy, The constable desires thee thou wilt mind / Thy followers of repentance.' (4:3)

    The relationship shows ultimate loyalty in Act 4 when the French are losing the battle of Agincourt but the Constable runs back into the chaos for one last fight. Henry later reads out his name on the list of French noblemen who have been killed. He has indeed died for his King.

    'Disorder that hath spoiled us, friend us now. Let us on heaps go offer up our lives.' (4:5)
    Henry says: 'The names of those their nobles that lie dead: Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France.' (4:8)

  • The Constable - the Dauphin

    This is not a particularly strong relationship at the start of the play but the Constable must show loyalty to the King’s eldest son and heir. However, he is not afraid to silence the dauphin in public when he disagrees with his views. The Constable knows the dauphin is hot-headed and carefully reminds him of the dignity Henry showed when the dauphin sent him a mocking gift of tennis balls. However, the dauphin dismisses his reasonable words.

    'O, peace, Prince Dauphin! / You are too much mistaken in this king. Question your grace the late ambassadors, / With what great state he heard their embassy.' (2:4)
    ’Well, ’tis not so, my lord high constable. But though we think it so, it is no matter.' (2:4)

    Their relationship seems a little stronger in Act 3 when both men unite over their feelings for Henry and the English. Henry’s troops are doing well in France and they share the same outrage at his success and disgust for the English.

    'O Dieu vivant! Shall a few sprays of us, The emptying of our fathers’ luxury.' (3:5)
    'Dieu de batailles! Where have they this mettle?' (3:5)

    The relationship becomes much weaker later on in Act 3, when the Constable teases the dauphin who won’t stop bragging about his horse. This quickly becomes an exchange between them, with the dauphin accusing the Constable of wearing too many stars. When the dauphin leaves, Orléans sticks up for the prince but the Constable calls the dauphin a bragging coward who will be useless in battle. Some interpret their exchange as good-humoured banter, while others see it as a more serious exchange of insults.

    'That may be, for you bear a many superfluously and ’twere more honour some were away.' (3:7)
    'Nor will do none tomorrow: he will keep that good name still.' (3:7)

    The relationship looks a tiny bit stronger in Act 4, Scene 2 when the battle begins and both men share the same thirst to fight.

    'Hark, how our steeds for present service neigh.' (4:2)
    'Mount them, and make incision in their hides, / That their hot blood may spin in English eyes, / And dout them with superfluous courage. Ha!' (4:2)

    The relationship is not much stronger in Act 4, when it’s clear the French are losing badly. However, the dauphin and the Constable are united in shock and shame.

    'O diable!' (3:7)
    'Mort de ma vie! All is confounded, all. / Reproach and everlasting shame'. (4:5)

Montjoy

  • Montjoy - King Charles VI

    The relationship is strongly loyal at the start of the play. King Charles trusts Montjoy with the task of meeting Henry with a demand for his ransom (the amount of money Henry will pay if he is captured). Montjoy, as a herald, is employed to obey Charles, which he does, telling Henry his master’s thoughts clearly and respectfully.

    ’Where is Montjoy the herald? Speed him hence. / Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.' (3:5)
    'So far my king and master; so much my office.' (3:6)

    The relationship continues to be loyal in Act 4, Scene 7 but Montjoy knows that his own King has lost the war. He is a good herald and is therefore careful to be respectful to Henry, who he recognises is now more powerful than King Charles.

    'No, great king: / I come to thee for charitable licence, / That we may wander o’er this bloody field / To book our dead and then to bury them.’ (4:7)

Teacher Notes

On this page students can arrange the characters on the screen, showing the connections between the characters and their relationships. They can then print this using the button on the page and label them with their own quotes.

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