Henry V: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. "O! for a Muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention." Chorus, Prologue, appealing for inspiration to depict the story
  2. "Can this cockpit hold The vasty fields of France? or may we cram Within this wooden O the very casques That did affright the air at Agincourt?" Chorus, Prologue, contrasting the limitations of the stage in presenting the battle of Agincourt
  3. "Now all the youth of England are on fire, And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies." Chorus, Act 2 lines 1-2, describing the enthusiasm with which the young men of England greet the prospect of war.  
  4. "Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead!In peace there's nothing so becomes a manAs modest stillness and humility:But when the blast of war blows in our ears,Then imitate the action of the tiger;Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;Then lend the eye a terrible aspect."
    Act 3, scene 1, lines 1-9, King Henry urging his men on at the siege of Harfleur.
  5. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:Follow your spirit; and, upon this chargeCry 'God for Harry! England and Saint George!'
    Act 3, scene 1, lines 31-34, Henry's rousing conclusion to his speech at Harfleur.
  6. "A little touch of Harry in the night."
    Act 4, Chorus, line 47. Chorus describes Henry's visit to his men the night before the battle.
  7. "I am afear'd there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing when blood is their argument?"
    Act  4 scene 1, lines 143-46, the English soldier Williams speaking on the night before the battle of Agincourt.
  8. "He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,And say, 'Tomorrow is Saint Crispin:'Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,And say, 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
    Act 4, scene 3, lines 44-48, from King Henry's speech to his men before the battle of Agincourt.
  9. "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers."
    Act 4, scene 3, line 60, King Henry, same speech
  10. "And gentlemen in England now a-bed, Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here;And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaksThat fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
    Act 4, scene 3, lines 64-67, King Henry, conclusion to his speech before Agincourt.

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