Henry IV Part 2: Novel Summary: Act V Scene 2

Average Overall Rating: 5
Total Votes: 126

 

Act V Scene 2
At the Palace of Westminster in London, Warwick meets the Lord Chief Justice and informs him that the King has died. The Chief Justice fears what may happen in the reign of Henry V. He is also concerned about his own position, since he once imprisoned Prince Henry for striking him (this is mentioned in Act 1, scene 2).
Prince John, Clarence, and Gloucester, the three other sons of Henry IV, enter. Warwick and the Chief Justice continue discussing their fears that the new Henry V is not fit to rule. Prince John and Clarence speak to the Chief Justice, reminding him of the difficult situation he is in. They tell him that he is going to have to treat Falstaff well, since Falstaff is known as a companion of the new King.
Henry V enters. He promises his brothers that he will be their father (in his capacity as King) as well as their brother. He asks for their love, and says he will bear their cares. The brothers respond affirmatively, but the King thinks he sees in their facial expressions that they have no love for him.
He turns to the Chief Justice, who says that the King has no cause to hate him. The King appears to dispute this, reminding the Chief Justice of how the Justice imprisoned him, and suggesting that this is not something that can easily be forgotten. The Chief Justice defends himself by saying that he acted in the name of the King, to uphold law and justice. Henry V accepts this argument, praises the Chief Justice, and allows him to continue in his position. He asks him to uphold the law with the same impartial spirit that he used when he committed, him, the then-Prince, to prison. He promises to consult him and follow his advice.
Henry V then turns to his brothers and promises that he will not be the kind of king the world is expecting. He will put his youthful vanity aside and become worthy of the office he holds, selecting his counselors wisely.
Analysis
This scene is a confirmation in public of what Prince Henry promised his father in private immediately before the old King's death. The audience is left in no doubt about Henry V's sincerity. His reformation is complete and absolute. He is unrecognizable from the jokester who used to hang around the taverns with Poins and the Falstaff crowd.

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