Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility,
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage,
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect:
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English,
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof,
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument.
Dishonour not your mothers: now attest
That those whom you called fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war.And you, good yeomen,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture:let us swear
That you are worth your breeding, which I doubt not,
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’
A hole in a defensive wall.
Strong tendons or ligaments in the body.
Terrifying look or appearance.
You are descended from fathers who have already been tested in battle, fathers who, like so many Alexander the Greats, have fought in this country from morning until night, only putting down their swords when there was no one left to fight.
Be an example to men of common birth and show them how to fight in a war.
Good farmers, born in England, show us the bravery of your upbringing.
Why does Henry feel he needs to make this speech?
I see you standing like greyhounds on a leash, straining for the moment when you’ll be let loose. The hunt is on!
What might happen if this speech doesn't work?
What effect does this speech have on the troops?
(Text edited for rehearsals by Gregory Doran)