Henry V: Novel Summary: Act 2

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The Chorus enthusiastically describes the scene as England confidently prepares for war while the French quake with fear and try to avert the danger. The French have recruited three English aristocrats, offering them money to form a conspiracy to overthrow Henry. The men are Richard, Earl of Cambridge, Henry, Lord Scrope of Masham, and Sir Thomas Grey. The Chorus warns that they are to be unmasked and executed in Southampton, before the English fleet sails. It is to Southampton that the scene now shifts.
Analysis
Modern readers often find the patriotism and war fervor expressed in the first few lines excessive, but an audience in Shakespeare's time would not have been troubled by it. In contrast to the power attributed to the English, the French, as throughout the play, are presented as weak and feeble.

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