Henry V Act III, Scene 3 Summary and Analysis

William Shakespeare

Act III, Scene 3 Summary and Analysis

At the gates of Harfleur, Henry addresses the French governor with an ultimatum—either surrender the town or see it buried in its own ashes. Henry says his soldiers will “mow like grass” the young girls and children of the town, rape its “pure maidens,” seize its “shrill-shrieking daughters,” smash the heads of its fathers, and impale “naked infants” on pikes while their mothers run mad with grief. The governor admits that the town has been abandoned by the Dauphin, who was “not ready/To raise so great a siege.” Faced with these dire consequences, the governor gives in.

As his army advances to claim the town, Henry, observing that “winter is coming on and sickness...

(The entire section is 410 words.)