Henry IV Part 1: Novel Summary: Act 4 scene 3

Average Overall Rating: 4
Total Votes: 520

At the rebel camp near Shrewsbury, there is a dispute about when to start the battle. Hotspur and Douglas want to fight that night, but Vernon and Worcester want to wait until the next day. They argue that it would be better to wait until all their forces are assembled and are fully rested. Worcester points out that the King's army is bigger than theirs, so they had better be at full strength.

A trumpet sounds, announcing that the King has sent an emissary for talks. Sir Walter Blunt, the King's man, enters, bringing an offer from the King. Henry IV wants to know what the rebels' grievances are. He promises to address these grievances and give the rebels even more than they request. He will also pardon them.

In reply, Hotspur tells Blunt about how the Percy family (that is, the family of the Earl of Northumberland)helped the King when he was known as Bolingbroke, before he overthrew Richard II and took the crown. The Percys befriended him when he came back to England friendless and virtually alone after being in exile. Bolingbroke promised that all he wanted was to be restored to his rightful status as Duke of Gloucester. But he changed his tune when the people, influenced by Northumberland's support of him, began to acclaim him. Then he became ambitious for the throne.

Blunt protests that he did not come to hear this, but Hotspur will not stop. He reminds Blunt of how Bolingbroke, now Henry IV, had Richard II killed. Then he imposed taxes on the whole country.

Hotspur now gets to the point, regarding his present grievances. He reminds Blunt of how the King refused to pay a ransom for Mortimer when he was captured in Wales. Moreover, the King spied on him, Hotspur, and tried to trap him, and also expelled his father, Northumberland, from the court. The King broke promises and committed one crime after another. All this drove them to rebellion. They believe the King does not have a right to the throne because he is not descended in direct line from Richard II. Also, he is not morally fitted for the position he holds.

Quotes: Search by Author

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z