Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Robert Pattinson, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris, Thomasin McKenzie, Lily-Rose Depp, Dean-Charles Chapman, Tom Glynn-Carney, Dean-Charles Chapman, Edward Ashley, Andrew Havill, Ivan Kaye, Steven Elder
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Historical drama adapted from several plays from Shakespeare’s Henriad, directed and co-written by David Michôd. The story centers on Hal (Timothée Chalamet), a wayward prince and reluctant heir to the English throne, who has turned his back on royal life and is living among the people. But when his tyrannical father dies, Hal is crowned King Henry V. Now the young king must navigate the palace politics, chaos and war his father left behind, and the emotional strings of his past life, including his relationship with his closest friend and mentor, the aging alcoholic knight, John Falstaff (Joel Edgerton).
Our Favorite Quotes:'Problems that are left unattended, have a habit of becoming crises.' - William (The King) Click To Tweet 'War is bloody and soulless.' - Falstaff (The King) Click To Tweet 'I speak only when there's something to be said. Too often have I seen men of war invent work for themselves, work that leads to nothing but vainglory and slaughtered men. I'm not that man.' - Falstaff (The King) Click To Tweet
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 62)
Hotspur: Cousin Mortimer is held by the rebels of Wales. Why do you refuse to pay his ransom?
Henry IV: I refuse to pay Mortimer’s ransom because I refuse to believe him a prisoner. I rather believe Mortimer a traitor. He has joined the Welsh rebels. He has betrayed England, and is now an enemy of mine, and, therefore, of yours. You agree with my précis, young Hotspur?
Northumberland: My son…
Hotspur: I believe yours to be the ramblings of a crazy old demon.
Northumberland: Harry, please, stop this.
Henry IV: Oh, no, let him speak. I wish to hear him.
Northumberland: My liege…
Hotspur: Yours are the ramblings of an old man so saturated with malice and mistrust that he no longer knows up from down, can no longer see beyond the walls of his own monstrous schloss. My family have served you. We aided you in your ascension, and still we fight for you. Cousin Mortimer has fought for you. And yet, now, whilst you slobber over that chicken’s wing, he shivers in a western prison awaiting mutilation at the hands of Welsh witches.
Northumberland: My liege, you must excuse my son. He needs rest. We come only to advocate for your help in securing Mortimer’s release.
Hotspur: All that we’ve done for you we have done for the good of England. But our lands are now more riven with war than ever before. The Scots aren’t finished. The Welsh have only just begun. And for what? Why do you think this might be, old man? Who do you imagine might be to blame for this?
Henry IV: Chickens can’t fly. But I’ve seen one eke enough wing flap to clear a fence. Then it’s free. But then so too are the foxes. You are right, young Percy. I owe you much. I owe your family still more. But if the Scottish traitors you’ve taken prisoner are not brought to me as speedily as they might travel, I will hang you by your f**king neck. Has this been heard, young Percy?
[Hotspur gets up and leaves in anger]
Northumberland: Your Majesty, please forgive us.
[he follows his son out of the room]
Henry IV: What a venomous boy. He’ll betray me now. I’m sure of it. If only he were my son.
[Beale and Falstaff enter Hal’s room, where he is passed out drunk on his bed]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How did you get inside?
Falstaff: The door was ajar.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: It was not.
Falstaff: Yes, it was. It was ajar.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: It was not ajar.
Falstaff: Well, how else might we gain entry? Are you accusing me of having cut myself a secret key?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Yes.
Beale: Falstaff has injured hisself, Hal. Will you perform the small repairs?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: No.
[as he drops some plates]
Beale: Oh, no.
Falstaff: Your Highness.
[Hal is attending to Falstaff’s wound]
Falstaff: There’s a fresh coin in this for you, you know.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I don’t want your coin. I will require your undiminished loyalty from here till Megiddo.
Falstaff: You have that already. You’re a soft negotiator.
[as Beale pours some wine on Falstaff’s wound]
Falstaff: Hey! You’re wasting good wine.
Beale: I’m keeping it clean.
[takes the wine bottle from Beale]
Falstaff: Give it.
[referring to the iron poker]
Falstaff: Oh. That looks very hot.
[Falstaff takes a swig of wine]
Falstaff: Do it.
[Hal flips Falstaff on his face with his finger, then quickly places the hot iron poker on his wound]
Falstaff: Ow! Aaah!
King Henry V ‘Hal’: What is this?
Cloaked Man: Your father, His Majesty King… Your father, His Majesty King Henry, is ill. He requests your presence.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Hmm. I suggest you return to the palace directly and tell him his request was wholly ignored.
Cloaked Man: I’ve been instructed to deliver the request with great urgency.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: You might tell him the urgency was also wholly ignored.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: What is it?
Falstaff: Visit with your father.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Go away.
Falstaff: If your father is indeed gravely ill enough to request your presence, then you must visit with him. It should be better to regret having done so than it would to have not. If your father is ill, no matter your feelings for him, you must visit with him. But I say this not out of concern for our king’s well-being, but more for fear of the drunken soak to which you’ll be likely to succumb should you fail to heed his call and he were to die without you having squared your ledger. I fear that would be soak enough to put even me to shame. Do it. If nothing else I ever suggest.
William: Your Majesty. Henry, Prince of Wales.
Henry IV: My son. Come in.
[Hal walks towards Henry’s throne]
Henry IV: I feel my life nearing its natural end, and yet, still even I must appear of ruder health than you. The time has come for us to consider the issue of my succession. You will not be king. While you are my eldest son, for reasons that are on display for all here to see, smell, you will not inherit this crown.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Nor have I sought it.
Henry IV: That privilege, and responsibility, will instead fall to your brother Thomas. He is soft, but he is eager. He will lead my army against the newly treasonous Harry Percy. I will assume that this news comes as neither surprise nor disappointment. But it is my duty as king, and father, to say it to you directly.
[Hal looks at Thomas]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: When do you fight?
Thomas: I set off tomorrow. We fight by week’s end.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: You need not fight. These feuds need not be yours.
Henry IV: I have said what you were summonsed to hear. Leave us now.
[Hal smiles, then turns and leaves]
[Hal shows up to Thomas’s army camp]
Thomas: Why are you here?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I will not allow this havoc to transpire. I’ve come to see it stopped.
Thomas: This is my battle.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: If I have my way, there will be no battle.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: You, come here.
Herald: My lord.
Thomas: You have no place here.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: [to Herald] Go to the rebel camp, deliver the following message to Percy Hotspur. Tell him that Prince Henry challenges him to settle today’s score man on man, he and I. We will fight in our armies places.
Herald: Yes, my lord.
Dorset: Who do you think you are?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I am nobody to you.
[after receiving Hal’s proposal of single combat]
Hotspur: I will fight him. And I will defeat him.
Northumberland: That you surely would, my son. But it cannot be. The prince speaks not for his father. You are eager to fight, my son. And you will. And we shall fight alongside you. We will burn them. We will burn Henry’s reign to the ground.
Thomas: You have no place here.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: You do not know war, Thomas.
Thomas: I do know war.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: You do not. You’ve been recruited to our father’s madness, to wars that need not be fought. These men are not our enemies. Our father has made them thus.
Thomas: Why then are you here? You so disapprove of our cause, and yet, still, you find it necessary to upstage me.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I do this not to steal your thunder, brother. I do it to save your life.
Soldier: Pardon me, my lords. Our herald is returned from the rebel camp. They have refused Prince Henry’s offer. They want battle.
[as Thomas and his army face Hotspur]
Hotspur: [yells] Where be the big dog?
[Hal pushes through the soldiers and comes up front to stand beside Thomas]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: It will be done.
Hotspur: And here I am with the whoring fool.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: This fight need not be had, Percy. My father will soon be dead. Your grievances will die with him.
Hotspur: Don’t be afraid of our small contest, young Hal. I promise to finish it quickly.
[as he is about to face Hal in a sword fight]
Hotspur: Your father is plague to England. Come for me, big dog!
[after killing Hotspur and taking his helmet to drop in front of Thomas]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Someday this will be your head, dropped at the feet of a man who might otherwise have been your brother. Come with me now, Thomas, please. Walk away from this field.
Thomas: After you have stolen its prized scalp?
[he picks up the helmet]
Thomas: This is what will be spoken of tomorrow. This field was mine. It was to mark my dominion. Instead now it marks only this head. This f**king head!
Falstaff: Hello, friend. Many times have I seen men in your state. I’ve been in it many times over myself. For all our rejoice of courage and valor, nothing stains the soul more indelibly than killing. Never have I felt so vile than standing victorious on a battlefield. The thrill of victory fades quickly. What lingers long after is always ugly. Never again, I say.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Stop talking, old man, please. Please stop talking.
Falstaff: I will never stop talking, Hal. Never. Never ever.
William: No doubt your father has brought much trouble to this kingdom, and I fear the chaos that might erupt in his absence. England needs a king, and I suspect those sentiments of yours that had you resile from him are precisely those the governance of this land needs. You must be king.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Why do you say this to me? Speak to Thomas. Is he not to be your new king?
William: I’m afraid that is not possible. Your brother was killed in Wales. After your defeat of Percy Hotspur, young Thomas pressed on to the western fields. This is where he met his end. It is said he gave valiant account of himself.
[Hal visits his father at his deathbed]
Henry IV: You must be king, Hal. Please. You must be king, Hal. I know not what I have done.
[he takes his last breath and dies, Hal then addresses Henry’s advisors]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: You know not what will become of you. So, I offer you this, the most blessed reprieve, the most dreadful misery. You shall suffer the indignity of serving me, the wayward son you so revile. But know now you will be watched over by an altogether different king.
[Chamberlain shows up at Hal’s lodgings, where he finds Falstaff in Hal’s bed]
Falstaff: What is this?
Lord Chamberlain: Who are you?
Falstaff: I am I. Who are you?
Lord Chamberlain: What is your purpose here?
Falstaff: I think you just woke me up from it, didn’t you?
Lord Chamberlain: Rise from that bed at once.
Falstaff: Who are you? Where is Hal?
Lord Chamberlain: These lodgings and their contents are the property of the King of England. You are trespassing and I order you to vacate at once.
Falstaff: What King of England?
[as Hal is being crowned]
Archbishop of Canterbury: All hail King Henry.
Crowd: King Henry! King Henry! King Henry!
Lord Chamberlain: From the Dauphin, son of His Majesty, Charles, King of France.
[Hal looks into the box and picks up the item in the box]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: A ball. There is no accompanying message from the Dauphin?
Lord Chamberlain: No, my liege.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I shall keep this gift. This one is sent only for me. For the boy I once was.
[referring to Dauphin’s present]
William: The ball is an insult to you and to your kingdom. You must respond.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Remember where, as prince, I whiled and how I spent my days?
William: You spent them in considered privation.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Drinking, clowning. So, is there not some truth in this jest? If the Dauphin wants from me a paroxysm, why give it him?
William: It would not be a show of foul temper for you to respond forcefully to an insult such as that. It would be a show of strength.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I appreciate your umbrage, William, but my strength does not lie in me flapping up and down at the slightest barb like some unholy mechanical bird.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Make sense of this. This is what is pressing.
William: Civil strife has consumed us. The war drains the purse like little else.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: This strife must end. And it will end, by conciliation. We shall pardon our adversaries. And we shall pay Mortimer’s ransom and have him returned from Wales. I will write these pardons in mine own hand. I want it known these sentiments are so personal to me. We shall let these men know they were my father’s enemies, not mine.
William: Certainly, my liege.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How does this strategy greet you?
William: Great reforms are best enacted with regime change. If this is how you wish to proceed, then, yes, my liege, now is the time to do it.
Queen Phillippa of Denmark: Did you reconcile with our father before his death?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: There was no reconciliation to be had. He did untold harm to this kingdom. His death will bring calm with it.
Queen Phillippa of Denmark: I ask not after the kingdom. What of you?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I want an end to this unrest.
Queen Phillippa of Denmark: Look around that table last night, and look at the faces of the men seated at it. I can feel this calm of which you speak. I do believe they wish you well. But I also see that they have their own kingdoms behind their eyes. Do you understand what I say? I’ve been away too many years, and I’m now to return to Denmark. But I have, in my time in that court, been privy to its commissions. I have seen there, again, and again, that no one ever speaks true, wholly true. Choose your steps wisely, dear brother.
Archbishop of Canterbury: My liege, I question the so-called French king’s claim to the throne upon which he sits.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Is that so? What confuses me now is why you are telling me this story.
Archbishop of Canterbury: My liege, I simply aim to bolster your claim to France should the need to meet her with force soon arise.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: And you believe that need will indeed soon arise?
Archbishop of Canterbury: I.. My liege, by way of preparedness, I believe it always wise…
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Preparedness? If we are to war with France, it will not come as a consequence of an old and impenetrable madrigal.
Archbishop of Canterbury: France was your father’s long-held ambition. Had he not been bogged in civil feud, he would most surely have taken the fight to her. And then, on to Jerusalem.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Jerusalem? We’re all the way to the Holy Land, are we? And presumably to sack the rest of Christendom along the way. I am not my father, archbishop. I would have thought this to be clear by now.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Why is the archbishop speaking to me of war with France?
William: What we are witnessing is a stirring, of which we must be wary. I applaud your restraint. After so many years of strife, you are proving to be more than your father’s son. You wish to be a king for the people. Now, we must ensure to that end, however, you do not remain oblivious to the mood of the people.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: And what mood is this?
William: That France is taunting us.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Do you share this mood?
William: Well, this mood is a fantasy. But that does not mean it is not felt true.
[Falstaff is in a tavern run by the landlady Hooper]
Hooper: Where is he? Where is Hal?
Hooper: Where’s our king? He be gone weeks and weeks now. Where is he? I would say, you be the one that’s been forgot.
Hooper: I would say that your dalliance with the upper reaches of the realm was short-lived, in and around his stinking sick bucket. Seems you were little more than passing keeper of a prince’s puke.
Hooper: Ponder that now.
Beale: Nell, Sir John is down on his luck.
Hooper: I am not. You find someone to pay your way here. I’ll not be paying it for you.
[after King Charles VI of France’s assassin has been captured and interrogated by Hal]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: At such a time as I endeavor to foster a fresh and peaceful air for this kingdom to breathe, it is not in my interest to stir hostility with another.
Dorset: This is an act of war.
William: We share your longing for peace, my liege, but to ignore such an audacious act of aggression will be seen as weakness. This is no game ball. This is an assassin.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Would you consider me weak, Chief Justice?
William: No. No, I speak more of the kingdom. What the kingdom sees.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: What the kingdom sees. Mm. How, pray, might the kingdom see the weasel beneath our feet?
William: If France’s animus towards you runs deep enough for them to send an assassin, it will be felt in the street, ours and theirs. It will be known. We share your concerns. But peace today needs more than harmony. It needs strength and confidence. These are qualities that can originate only in you, the king. Our king.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: [to William] Take down these words addressed to King Charles of France. “This assassin you send can be taken as nothing other than an infant act of war. If this be your intention, I say you let it be known plainly, and that you desist from this timorous slither in which you presently engage. If it be war you seek, send the full weight of your army. For a lone, cowardly assassin will not topple this King Henry the Fifth of England you so underestimate.
[he takes the ball out of the box Dauphine had sent him; referring to the box]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: [to William] Fill this with gunstones and send it back to France.
William: Charles wishes to dethrone our king.
Grey: The issue is not France. This is but a reminder to us of a more general lunacy. A boy who but weeks ago was a drunken boor from the sewers of Eastcheap now wears England’s crown. What shall become of us? What shall become of us when civil misdeeds are forgiven as if they were but indiscretions? When traitors…
William: Yes, yes, Lord Grey. Your concerns are current. And they are numerous. Something must be done. Something will be done. Give me quiet.
William: [to Hal] Thus is a king’s burden. A king must make decisions lesser men are neither willing nor able to make. A king is indeed presented with quandaries lesser men might never encounter in the course of their whole lives. I wish it were not so. But problems, and this is my experience, problems that are left unattended, have a habit of becoming crises. You have a chance here to unite the land, Hal. Truly. You have refreshed its mood with promise. But promise must be fulfilled. Promise can never be an end in itself.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: As of this day, we’re at war with France. Twice I have given her the benefit of my doubt. This third affront will not be left unchecked. And so, in order to flush these French rats from their nests, I will have it communicated to them that we are now at war.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: My Lord Grey. Cambridge. I would ask you to deliver this message to France, given your familiarity with its recipient. But I believe in the morning you be otherwise engaged.
Cambridge: Pray how, my liege?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Tomorrow you will have your heads cut off.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I have chosen to send you as an advance party to Hell for the considerable French number that will soon be needing to find space there. You were once my friend.
Cambridge: I am your friend, cousin
[Hal visits Falstaff]
Falstaff: I will not jump to your attention. And surely not to retread vile ground I vowed never to walk again.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I acknowledge my neglect of you, John. A new chapter of my life has begun before the last could be properly closed. These concerns are mine and mine alone. But the fact that this here be the first occasion I’ve had to sound them aloud to anyone other than myself speaks volumes. It speaks to the loneliness of the position in which I find myself. To steer our present course, I’ve been forced to rely upon the counsel of men whose loyalty I question every waking moment. Every waking moment. I need men around me I can trust. I’m here because you are my friend.
Falstaff: A king has no friends. A king has only followers and foe.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I’m sorry my occasion to visit carries with it this doleful weight.
[Hal rises and turns to leave]
Falstaff: Hal. I will come with you. I ask only one favor in return.
[points to Hooper]
Falstaff: Square my account with that terrible hag over there. Would you?
[to his men]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: We welcome those newly arrived here. Turn us now in common poise, with one mind, sharpened. Together, we will bring France down. Together, we will bring her to her knees. Captains all, to this end, I wish to introduce to you a new marshal of our campaign. Sir John Falstaff. Sir John’s experience in battle should need no recitation. You know of him. Some of you have had the honor of fighting alongside him. Others have heard tale of his exploits. But I have tasked Sir John to join this campaign for one most vital reason alone. He respects war as only a man who has seen its most monstrous form can. He lusts after it not, but rather regards it with the grim sobriety that you and your men should hope he would.
Falstaff: Welcome, and thank you, good sirs. You’re all well met.
[as they are sailing to France]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Thank you.
Falstaff: What for?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: For being here, with me.
Falstaff: Well, it’s a small price to pay to keep that detestable Hooper woman off me back.
Dorset: [to Hal] We must storm that castle. It will be bloody. We will most surely sacrifice souls. Thus is the nature of war. It is bloody and soulless. We have no way of knowing how well supplied they are behind those walls. This siege may take months, and months, I fear, we have not at our disposal. Men in these numbers, fixed here, will fall to hunger and disease.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Sir John.
Falstaff: War is bloody and soulless. Yes.
Archbishop of Canterbury: Surely you cannot simply idle here until they decide to come out?
Falstaff: That is precisely the definition of a siege.
Archbishop of Canterbury: How long might that take? Surely there’s no way of knowing.
Falstaff: Uh, that too, is a common characteristic of a siege.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I will not send my men up that hill.
Archbishop of Canterbury: But why in heavens not?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I will not sacrifice my men so flagrantly, nor so speculatively.
Archbishop of Canterbury: Well, then why do you not simply go around? If they insist on hiding in their castle, why do you not simply go around it?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: So well versed in the art of warfare.
[Hal gets up and walks off]
William: We must take this town, Archbishop. We must establish a garrison foothold here, for our lines of supply from England.
Archbishop of Canterbury: Do not forget that I have underwritten this campaign. I have interest here, and I will be heard.
William: Not today, Archbishop.
Westmoreland: We have received word that the Dauphin is en route. He wishes conference with His Majesty
King Henry V ‘Hal’: And we know nothing of his purpose?
William: We know only that he desires conference. I would hope his purpose be to deliver his father’s early surrender.
Dorset: I strongly advise we disregard this word of his approach and ready our movement. We must make advantage of their disarray.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Sir John, your counsel.
Falstaff: I’ve never met the man, this French prince. I can’t speak to his motivation.
[Hal meets the Dauphine]
The Dauphin: Do you wonder why I have come? Hmm? Do you wonder this? I have not come to offer you surrender, if that is what you’re hoping. I have come to describe for you your end days, the screams of your men as they die slow. And so, King of, uh, England, you seem so intent on making France your new home, so let me help you. I will drain your body of its blood, and bury it under a tree. A little French tree. Very young, very small. Since perchance that is fitting of your mind for you to come here. Small. And maybe your…
[he mimics a penis with his hand]
The Dauphin: I mean, no, your balls must be big, no? Giant balls.
The Dauphin: Giant balls, with a tiny c*ck.
The Dauphin: And the sound of your wives, and children weeping, shall lull me to sleep at night.
[Falstaff yawns as the Dauphine looks at him disapprovingly]
[after he’s taunted Hal]
The Dauphin: Have you heard what I said?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I have. It was stirring. Sir John, please walk with me.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Good night.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Double the guards to twenty yards through the night. Three hours at a watch. I want these men fresh and alert. Any man caught sleeping will have his eyes gouged. Any caught speaking will lose his tongue. And I want all French prisoners in our train put to death. Leave their corpses speared on pikes by the river’s edge.
Falstaff: The first command I’ll heed. The second, you’ll have to carry out that mass execution yourself.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: What did you say to me?
Falstaff: You are not that man.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How dare you defy me?
Falstaff: Show your feeling in here, with me. Don’t let it outside this tent.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How dare you defy me? I am the king. And where is the fearsome old warrior Falstaff about whom I’ve heard so much? You’ve been mute since we crossed the sea. I seem to be serving as my own chief tactician, my own commander, my own counsel. Where is the fearsome old warrior Falstaff?!
Falstaff: I speak only when there’s something to be said. Too often have I seen men of war invent work for themselves, work that leads to nothing but vainglory and slaughtered men. I’m not that man. And this here is the war that you have chosen to wage.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I will disembowel you right here with mine own hand.
Falstaff: You are not that man, either.
[he walks out of Hal’s tent]
Dorset: The longer we wait, the greater our disadvantage. But it is possible our disadvantage has already grown insurmountable. A great many men are already desperately ill, and weak from hunger.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: What then, my lord, do you propose we do?
Dorset: I propose we consider turning back, my liege. I know it will not bring the outcome we desire, but nor will the evisceration of our army. I’m reticent to speak for others here now, but I’m certain my fears are shared.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Who here agrees with Lord Dorset?
[no one replies]
Falstaff: You can win this battle.
Dorset: Is that so, Sir John?
Dorset: And precisely how is that so, Sir John?
Falstaff: You fight without horses and without armor.
Dorset: Heavens above, please spare us from this man.
Falstaff: Their forward defense is a front line of mounted men. Many deep. Knights all. All on horseback, all with heavy armor. The ground out there, is a flood bowl, already half-sodden. When it rains tonight, as I know it will, that ground will turn into a muddy bog. And with their horses and their armor, they will get stuck, they will fall, and they will flounder like upturned beetles.
Dorset: As shall we.
Falstaff: Not if we travel light, without horses and without armor. Speed and mobility will be our advantage.
Westmoreland: And how, Sir John, can you be so sure of rainfall tonight?
Falstaff: My right knee is aching. It only does that when rain is near.
Dorset: Oh, save us, my liege. Please put a stop to this drivel!
King Henry V ‘Hal’: This would require their armored front line come meet us in the mud.
Dorset: How do you propose we invite that?
Falstaff: A small forward armored attack of our own. A false advance. They will counter. We save our weight, and our muscle, for a nimble assault from the flanks.
Dorset: They shan’t be so easily deceived. They will not respond to false attack.
[he throws the apple in his hand at Dorset, who catches it]
Falstaff: They will respond. We move, they will meet us in the mud. Our men at arms are outnumbered. This they know. They will hope to overwhelm us, so they will meet us with full force, no matter how small our first advance. Our great longbows will rain chaos on them from above. That chaos will be your favor.
[referring to Falstaff’s plan of attack on the French army]
Dorset: My liege, I implore you, we mustn’t listen to this madness. What is the true experience of this man? He once fought for Richard many years ago. Since then, he has done nothing, other than ride with the companies, robbing and tormenting.
Falstaff: I never robbed anyone who didn’t deserve to be robbed.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: If it rains tonight, we fight tomorrow.
[Hal joins Falstaff by the fire]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: If you have concocted this plan, half-baked and speculative, merely to prove to me your worth, please say so now.
Falstaff: All plans are speculative. And as I say, I only speak them when I feel them true. This one I feel in my bones. This one I feel in my knee bone.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Here we are on the eve of this fight, and I am scared to wonder, to tell it true, why we are here.
Falstaff: You best discover the answer for that. The men out there deserve it. They’ve given their lives to you. I cannot say what forces have conspired to bring you here, but these men need you, just as you need them. These men deserve your confidence. And if you cannot give them that, at least then tell them a magnificent lie.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Though you might not think it possible, you are my friend.
Falstaff: Good night, Hal. Sleep well.
Falstaff: This wind whips from the north. The rain was sent from England.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Why are you being fitted with plate? We were to fight without armor. We need a front line to draw them in.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: It cannot be you.
Falstaff: The idea was mine. Some man must lead the first push to sell it well. My men have been assembled, and I cannot, in good conscience, send them out there to realize my speculative drivel without getting muddy alongside them, can I?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I will fight with you.
Falstaff: It’s noble, but you know that cannot be. This is what I was built for. I die here, or I die over a bottle in Eastcheap. And I think this makes for a much better story. And you have things still to do. You will join this fight. But promise me you don’t join too early. It doesn’t matter what you see out there. We must first draw them all in. All of them. Promise me that, Hal. Win, my friend. Maybe then you’ll lighten enough to have a drink with me. Hmm?
[Hal meets with the Dauphine and greets him in French]
The Dauphin: Please. Please speak English. I enjoy to speak English. It is simple, and ugly. I have been waiting all morning, all the night, for your surrender. It might have saved a great unease had it come sooner.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I know you do not speak for your father.
The Dauphin: I do speak for my father.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I know you do not speak for your father, so I come to you now directly. I have not come to surrender. Too much Christian blood will be spilled on this field today. So I propose this. You and I fight, one man on one man. We fight in our armies stead. If I lose, my men will leave this place forthwith and forever. You will have my head. If I win, I will assume this kingdom’s crown upon your father’s death. What say you?
The Dauphin: Are you scared, young Henry?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: What say you?
The Dauphin: Are you scared of this battle? There is no shame of it.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Save your men.
The Dauphin: You save your own men.
The Dauphin: You came here. To me! Surrender to me!
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I cannot do that.
The Dauphin: Well, then, boy, let us make famous that field out there. This little village of Agincourt, that will forever mark the site of your callow disgrace.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: [to his army] You expect of me a speech? I have only one to give, and it is the same one I’d give were we not standing on the brim of a battlefield. It is the same one I’d give were we to meet in the street by chance. I have only ever hoped for one thing, to see this kingdom united under this English crown.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: [to his army] All men are born to die. We know it. We carry it with us always. If your day be today, so be it. Mine will be tomorrow. Or mine today and yours tomorrow. It matters not. What matters is that you know, in your hearts, that today you are that kingdom united. You are England. Each and every one of you. England is you. And it is the space between you. Fight not for yourselves, fight for that space. Fill that space. Make it tissue. Make it mass. Make it impenetrable! Make it yours! Make it England! Make it England! Great men to it. Captains, lords. Great men to it!
[after Hal and his army defeat the Dauphine and his army]
Westmoreland: My liege. The prisoners we have took are a rabble. I fear we will not secure them should their army regroup.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Kill them all.
[Hal meets with King Charles VI]
King Charles VI: This conversation we are about to have has been had many times before, and will be had many times again for centuries to come between men of vanity and men of good reason. I would hope that you and I are men of good reason. I have, of course, traveled here to offer you my surrender.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Do you ask anything of me in return?
King Charles VI: No. I do, however, have for you a proposition. You take the hand of my daughter, Catherine, in marriage. It is most uncanny that the great movements of history so frequently find their origins in the minutia of family. That in ways I dare not unsettle here, my relationship with my son, and yours with your father. These are the things that have led us here today. We are leaders of lands and peoples, and yet, it is family that moves us. Family consumes us.
William: My condolences to you for the loss of your friend, Sir John. I know you must feel this loss deeply.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Thank you, William. Your loyalty to me has been comforting.
William: You have proven yourself to be a most worthy king. I would say you have proven yourself to be one of England’s great kings.
[after Hal returns to England, he meets with Catherine to speak privately]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: There is much I wonder about a great many things.
Catherine: Indeed there must be for you to contemplate marriage to a woman about whom you know so little.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Hmm.
Catherine: I will not submit to you. You must earn my respect.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I understand that.
Catherine: Do you?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I do.
Catherine: Do you feel a sense of achievement?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: In what regard?
Catherine: In any regard.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I have achieved that which my father never could. I have united this kingdom in common cause.
Catherine: Hmm. You have achieved momentary respite. A unity forged under false pretense will never be a unity that prevails.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How, pray, have my endeavors been forged falsely?
Catherine: Why did you bring war to France?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Your father came on spoiling.
Catherine: How so? How was he spoiling?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: He sent an assassin.
Catherine: There was no assassin. There was no plot to kill you.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How might you know?
Catherine: Because I was with my father when he received word of your charge. I know him well enough to know his reaction to be genuine.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How was his reaction?
Catherine: He laughed. He laughed very much. He said you must be drunk.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Your father is a madman.
Catherine: He may be mad, but he is true. His madness makes him true. He says only what he believes. That is why he is loved.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: The assassin then was sent by your brother.
Catherine: My brother?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Mm-hmm.
Catherine: My brother was too stupid to conjure such a plan. What was your true reason?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Did you know of the ball he sent? The ball he sent to me?
Catherine: A ball? He sent to you a ball?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Why should you question my intent? Your father’s rule is illegitimate. He has no right claim to his throne.
Catherine: All monarchy is illegitimate. You yourself are the son of a usurper.
Catherine: It would seem that you have no explanation for what you have done. You have shed the blood of so many Christian souls, and yet, before me now, all I see is a young, and vain, and foolish man so easily riled. So easily beguiled.
[Hal contemplates her statement for a moment]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I must leave you now.
[after Hal realizes that William was the one who staged and goaded Hal into war with France]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How did my assassin come to you?
William: I fail to remember the moment.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Remedy this failure.
William: So much has happened in the intervening months.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: An event as pivotal as this one should be amply equipped to penetrate the fog of time elapsed. No?
William: Of course. Let me recall.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Was it in the street? Did he come to you in the street?
William: Yes. Yes, it was in the street. He approached me, most unusually. My liege, please, tell me the cause of this concern.
[referring to the stool William is standing on to have his clothes fitted]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Stay up there. Stay up there. Did he know your name?
William: I don’t believe he did.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: How, then, did he know who you were to approach?
William: Ah. The memory is returning. He surrendered himself to palace guards, and the matter was brought to my attention. I was taken to him.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: So, he did not come to you in the street.
William: No. No, it was not in the street. Forgive me. I was summoned to his cell.
William: Has a problem arisen, Hal?
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Yes. A problem has arisen. And it wobbles before me now on its silly little stool at mine own elevation.
William: I’m afraid I don’t understand.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Please, please, stop this charade.
William: Sincerely, I do not understand.
King Henry V ‘Hal’: Stop the f**king charade! Stop it!
William: I have given you what you wanted, boy! Have I not?!
[William steps down from the stool]
William: You wanted peace. Did you not?! This is how peace is forged. It is forged in victory.
[referring to the crowd cheering outside]
William: Listen. That is the sound of peace. That is the sound of your peace.
[he kneels in front of Hal]
William: That is the sound of your greatness. Hmm?
[William bows his head, Hal takes his knife and stabs William fatally in the back of his head]
[after killing William, Hal meets with Catherine]
King Henry V ‘Hal’: I ask nothing of you, only that you will always speak to me clear and true. Always. Will you promise me only that?
Catherine: I will.
[Hal holds out his hands and Catherine places her hands in his]
Total Quotes: 62
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