Henry IV, Part I "The Blood More Stirs To Rouse A Lion Than To Start A Hare"
by William Shakespeare

Henry IV, Part I book cover
Start Your Free Trial

"The Blood More Stirs To Rouse A Lion Than To Start A Hare"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Download Henry IV, Part I Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Context: Henry Percy, called Hotspur, is the son of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. Percy, after being chided by the king, is joined by Worcester and others against the "proud King," Henry IV, for what they consider their rights. Hotspur, who prizes honor above all earthly things but whom Falstaff calls "gunpowder Percy" because he explodes so easily, reveals his hot nature in his statement that he would rather hunt lions than hares. He further reveals his ambitious nature in his speech that follows the earlier statement:

HOTSPUR. . . O the blood more stirsTo rouse a lion than to start a hare.. . .By heaven methinks it were an easy leap,To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon,Or dive into the bottom of the deep,Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,And pluck up drowned honour by the locks,So he that doth redeem her thence might wearWithout corrival all her dignities.. . .