Henry IV, Part I "Pluck Bright Honor From The Pale-faced Moon"
by William Shakespeare

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"Pluck Bright Honor From The Pale-faced Moon"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

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Context: When young Henry Percy, called Hotspur, is reprimanded by King Henry for refusing to release to him prisoners of war captured by Percy, the valiant youth declares to his father and uncle his opposition to the king. Recalling that they have helped to crown this man when the throne belonged to Mortimer only to find themselves dismissed by the king, Hotspur rages and thinks only of recapturing the family honor.

HOTSPURBy 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. . . .