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From which Shakespearean work does the quote below come and what are the circumstances...

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fitter638 | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 20, 2010 at 4:46 AM via web

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From which Shakespearean work does the quote below come and what are the circumstances in which it is spoken?

No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,

Not all these, laid a bed majestical,

Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,

Who, with body filled, and a vacant mind,

Gets him to rest, crammed with distressful bread....

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 20, 2010 at 4:48 AM (Answer #1)

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The lines you cite here are from the play Henry V.  They are spoken in Act IV, Scene 1 of that play.  The lines are spoken by the King himself.

The context here is that Henry has just gotten finished going among his soldiers disguised as a common soldier.  He wants to find out what the soldiers are thinking and he wants to encourage them.

After he speaks to a number of soldiers, he speaks a soliloquy on the nature of kingship and how hard it is to be a king and a leader.  The lines you cite are taken from that soliloquy.

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