Act I Questions and Answers
1. What are King Henry’s concerns at the opening of Act I?
2. What news does Westmoreland bring to King Henry regard¬ing the political state of affairs in England?
3. Explain Henry’s disappointment in his son Hal.
4. Describe the relationship between Hal and Falstaff.
5. Explain the joke that Poins plans to play on Falstaff with the help of Hal.
6. What does Hal reveal about his position as Prince of Wales and the company of friends he keeps?
7. Explain King Henry’s reaction to Worcester at the opening of Scene iii.
8. What defense does Hotspur offer on his own behalf with respect to the accusation that he denied prisoners?
9. Why does Hotspur become so angry when Henry refuses to pay ransom for Mortimer?
10. How do Northumberland and Worcester calm Hotspur down at the end of Scene iii?
1. King Henry’s concerns involve sending an army to the Holy Land to fight in the Crusades and suppressing rebellions that are occurring in England. It is no surprise that at the beginning of the play we meet a king “so shaken” and “wan with care” because of his concern for his kingdom.
2. Westmoreland brings Henry news that the issue of an army to the Crusades was being heavily discussed when news came that “the noble Mortimer, / Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight” against Glendower was taken by Glendower. He adds that thousands of people were butcher¬ed in the fight, and Welshwomen performed...
(The entire section is 649 words.)
Act II Questions and Answers
1. Describe the conditions that exist at the inn at Rochester.
2. How do Poins and Hal set Falstaff up for their practical joke?
3. Explain how Falstaff deals with the “thieves” who rob him.
4. What do Hotspur’s comments about the letter writer reveal about his nature?
5. What observation does Lady Percy make regarding Hotspur’s recent behavior?
6. How does Hal display his ability to create a practical joke?
7. Describe Falstaff’s temperament when he arrives at the tavern in Eastcheap.
8. How does Falstaff’s description of the robbery contrast to what really happened?
9. Explain the subtle changes that take place during the “play extempore.”
10. How does Hal manage the sheriff’s investigation of the reported robbery?
1. The conditions that prevail at the inn are such that the “house is turned upside down since Robin Ostler died.” The “peas and beans are as dank” as a dog, and the inn is overrun by fleas. This environment reflects the topsy-turvy world of the King’s court and state of England. Gadshill among his cronies mirrors the treachery that exists within the King’s council.
2. Poins removes Falstaff’s horse so he cannot run away after robbing the travelers. Then Hal tells Falstaff to lie down and “lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travelers.” Poins and Hal arrange to have Falstaff and his gang meet the travelers “in a narrow lane” while Hal and Poins go off to another place with the excuse that if...
(The entire section is 679 words.)
Act III Questions and Answers
1. Why have Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and Glendower met in Wales in the opening scene of Act III?
2. Explain the clash of the personalities between Hotspur and Owen Glendower.
3. How does Mortimer attempt to calm Hotspur down?
4. What is the purpose of the scene involving Lady Percy and Lady Mortimer?
5. What does the meeting between King Henry and Hal reveal about their relationship as father and son as well as present king and future king?
6. How does Hal’s vow to Henry relate to his soliloquy at the end of Act I, Scene ii?
7. Explain Falstaff’s condition at the opening of Scene iii.
8. What is the function of Mistress Quickly?
9. Explain the mood at the tavern at the end of Scene iii.
10. How does Falstaff get involved in Hal’s fight with the Percys?
1. Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and Glendower meet at Bangor, Wales to plan the rebellion and discuss the division of the kingdom that they hope to acquire in the rebellion.
2. Hotspur is annoyed at Glendower’s belief that at his “nativity / The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes.” Hotspur dismisses these events as mere coincidence. In addition, after the division of the kingdom is made, Hotspur believes his portion is smaller than the rest, so he wants the map altered. Glendower insists it will not be altered, and Hotspur becomes more incensed. Moreover, Hotspur does not care for the “mincing poetry” of Glendower’s speech.
3. One of the ways in which Mortimer...
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Act IV Questions and Answers
1. What disappointing news do the rebels receive?
2. How does Hotspur react to this news?
3. Why does Worcester fear Northumberland’s absence?
4. What news does Sir Richard Vernon bring the rebels?
5. Describe Falstaff’s charge of infantry men.
6. What advice do Worcester and Vernon give Hotspur?
7. Explain what Sir Walter Blunt offers the rebels on behalf of King Henry.
8. How does Hotspur respond to the King’s proposal?
9. What does the shift in Hotspur’s decision suggest about his way of thinking?
10. What fear does the Archbishop of York express?
1. The rebels receive the disappointing news that Northumberland “is grievous sick” and will not join the rebel forces, that “The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong, / Is marching,” and that Glendower “cannot draw his power this fourteen days.”
2. Hotspur reacts to this news by thinking that with Northumberland’s absence the rebels will not jeopardize all of their forces. He refuses to comprehend the strength of Henry’s forces, and he is naive enough to believe that “the powers of us may serve” to defeat the King.
3. Worcester fears that Northumberland’s absence may be interpreted by some as a disapproval of the rebels’ cause and may create doubts about their enterprise.
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Act V Questions and Answers
1. Why does Worcester go to King Henry?
2. What challenge does Hal present to Worcester?
3. Why does Worcester lie to Hotspur about the King’s message?
4. What does Vernon say about Hal’s challenge to Hotspur?
5. Explain what happens to Sir Walter Blunt on the battlefield.
6. What comic relief provided by Falstaff appears at the end of Scene iii?
7. What happens when Douglas encounters King Henry on the battlefield?
8. How does Hal live up to his vow to King Henry?
9. What is the outcome of Hal’s challenge to Hotspur?
10. What immediate arrangements does Henry make to put an end to rebellion in England?
1. Worcester goes to King Henry to inform him of the rebels’ response to the offer of pardon. Henry takes this opportunity to tell Worcester “’Tis not well / That you and I should meet upon such terms / As we meet now,” suggesting the inevitable defeat of the Percys.
2. After hearing Worcester’s excuses for justifying the rebellion, Prince Henry challenges Hotspur to do battle “in a single fight” to determine the outcome of the rebellion.
3. When Worcester returns to the Percy camp, he tells Hotspur that the “King will bid you battle presently,” in order to stir him to battle since the rebels are weakened and have reached the point of no return. He fears that if...
(The entire section is 603 words.)