William Shakespeare's King Henry the Fourth, Part II in the complete original text.
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The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth

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King Henry IV, Part II Play

King Henry IV part 2, follows from the action of part one. Three years have passed since the Percy rebellion was crushed and The Earl Of Northumberland's son, Hotspur died at the battle of Shrewsbury. Not all the rebels have been brought to justice however, the King appointing Westmoreland and Lancaster to lead an army to finish them off. Richard Scroop, the Archbishop of York, one of the remaining rebels is supporting Lord Hastings, Lord Mowbray and Lord Bardolph in a new rebellion; Northumberland who has already lost his son Hotspur, supports them only distantly. This support soon vanishes as Northumberland's wife and Hotspur's widow blame him for abandoning Hotspur at Shrewsbury even though Northumberland was sick, convincing him to hide in Scotland, Lady Grey convincing Northumberland to leave the rebels.

Meanwhile, Falstaff has returned to form, frequenting the Boar's Head Inn, Hal rejoining his old friend who with his huge appetite is driving Mistress Quickly rapidly out of business. However this fun is soon over as the King, now suffering illness, summons both to fight once more. Falstaff who in his last battle recruited poor soldiers, is tasked with recruiting soldiers once again for the King of England's army. Unsurprisingly, the lazy Falstaff ends up keeping company in Gloucestershire with Justice Shallow whom he quickly takes advantage of financially. Falstaff corruptly allows his soldiers to pay their way out of their service to the King of England. We learn from the Chief Justice in London that Hal is distancing himself from Falstaff by having him accompany his brother, Prince John of Lancaster.

In London, Henry IV once more vows to finally set forth on his much delayed religious crusade if the rebellion is suppressed. The King, however is far from happy that his heir to the throne, Hal is still associating with petty criminals (Falstaff and company).Meanwhile the growing rebel threat results in the King sending his second son Prince John of Lancaster to speak with the Scroop representing the rebels. Prince John agrees to meet the rebel's demands only if they first disband their army. Acting in good faith the rebels agree only to have Prince John's intact army capture rebels Scroop and the other Lords, all being executed.

Hal arrives to an asleep King, taking his crown. Caught and accused of wanting his father dead, Hal claims he thought his father dead and wanted to protect the crown. The King, now facing death, finally makes peace with Hal, telling him he does believe he will be fit to rule the kingdom. The King tells Hal to fight foreign wars to secure his popularity and occupy his people, the King then dying. Hal becomes the new King of England. Falstaff, hearing this, believes he has a friend in the highest place in the land, immediately departing for London. As King of England, the old Hal, Falstaff remembers is no more, the King (Hal) at his coronation, banning his old friends from being within ten miles of him; any closer and they will all be put to death. Hal is now the true King of England.


Dramatis Personæ

Act I
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

Act II
Scene I,
Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Scene I, Scene II

Act IV
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V

Act V
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V



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