Act III Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
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 tries to calm Hotspur down is to present Glendower’s admirable qualities such as his education, valor, and his magical secrets. Mortimer also tells Hotspur that Glendower’s patience has been tried many times by Hotspur’s mood and temperament.

4. The purpose of the scene between the men and their wives is twofold. First, it provides a moment of calm in the midst of the tension that is brewing. Second, it provides a glimpse of the difference in the relationships that exist between Lord and Lady Mortimer and Hotspur and Lady Percy. Lord Mortimer seems to be a more sensitive, passionate man, where¬as Hotspur seems more earthy and less refined as a lover.

5. The meeting between King Henry and Hal reveals that they both have genuine respect for each other. Henry is truly concerned for his son’s welfare, and Hal respects his father’s position. After Henry expresses his disappointment in Hal’s behavior, Hal agrees to amend his conduct to suit his role as Prince of Wales and future King of England.

6. Hal’s statement that he “shall hereafter…Be more like” himself parallels his statement in the soliloquy at the end of Act I, Scene ii when he says that like the sun which emerges from behind dark clouds “when he please again to be himself.” In the soliloquy, Hal recognizes that he must throw off “this loose behavior” and in this scene, he vows to act.

7. Falstaff pretends that the day’s events have made his skin hang about him “like an old lady’s gown” and that he is “withered like an old apple-john.” As a result, he says that he will repent his former life because “villainous company” has been his ruin.

8. Mistress Quickly provides an excellent foil for Falstaff’s rude, insulting, and bawdy remarks because she often misses his intention and creates further occasion for him to taunt her.

9. The mood at the tavern is one of frivolity and laughter as the comrades listen to Falstaff’s exaggeration of what was stolen from him, as Falstaff teases Mistress Quickly about the unsafe conditions at the inn, and as Hal and Poins enter marching. The lively atmosphere is subdued as Hal informs Falstaff of “a charge of foot” which Hal has procured for him as the rebellion becomes a more dominant issue.

10. Falstaff becomes involved after Hal procures an infantry for him and tells Falstaff to meet him “tomorrow in the Temple Hall” in order to “know thy charge.”

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