Act IV Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
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.

4. Sir Richard Vernon brings news that he saw the King’s army “All furnished, all in arms” and Hal “gallantly armed” and ready for battle.

5. Falstaff is left with a ragtag army of men who remain after those he impressed paid their way out of service. Falstaff’s army is made up of the dross of society whom he describes as “a hundred and fifty tattered prodigals lately come from swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks.” They are a motley collection of runaways and unemployed common men.

6. Worcester advises Hotspur to wait before he fights, and Vernon agrees with Worcester’s strategy. Vernon also warns that certain forces have not yet arrived, the horses are tired, and the number of the King’s men exceeds the number of rebels. However, Hotspur does not listen to the advice and maintains his own view of the situation.

7. Sir Walter Blunt brings an offer from the King. If the rebels name their griefs, King Henry will make sure “with all speed” that they “have [their] desires with interest / And pardon absolute” for their transgressions.

8. Hotspur responds to the King’s offer by itemizing the events that led up to Henry’s rise to power. Blunt stops him with a curt “Tut! I came not to hear this.” Again Hotspur continues to list the injuries he feels that the Percys and the kingdom have suffered at the hands of King Henry.

9. After Hotspur tells Blunt that he will send word with his uncle in the morning, Blunt says that he wishes Hotspur would accept the offer. Hotspur responds, “And may be so we shall,” a suggestion which contradicts his previous declamations and suggests his inconsistent way of handling matters.

10. The Archbishop of York fears both for his own life since the Percys might not be successful and that his own duplicity will be discovered “For [Henry] hath heard of our confederacy.”

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