Henry iv part 1 Summary Act V
Worcester and Vernon negotiate with Henry reminding him how they helped him in his own bid for the kingdom. Henry offers to forgive and pardon rebels should they surrender if only to avoid a bloody battle. Hal now displays his power of military analysis states that Hotspur and Douglas being such characters as they are will not give up without a fight as they feel a sense of possible victory. Falstaff questions the need for being honorable and is afraid of dying in the battle.
Worcester knows accepting a pardon will invite mistrust upon them. They lie to Hotspur that Henry intends showing no mercy and is unwilling to negotiate. In fact Worcester also tells Hotspur that the Prince of Wales has challenged him to mortal combat praising Prince Hal while doing so. Hotspur commences the battle nevertheless.
Walter Blunt is mistaken for Henry and killed by Douglas in the battle. On the battlefield there are several men impersonating the king for his protection. Falstaff’s soldiers are all killed save three of them. Falstaff lies to Hal that he has killed Hotspur but the prince doesn’t believe it, Falstaff then promises he shall do so although he also commits to saving himself instead.
Hal refuses to listen to Henry who wants his son to leave the battle. He saves Henry from Douglas who tries to kill the King. This act of valor renews pride and respect in Henrys eyes for his son ultimately it is Hotspur and Hal who duel while Falstaff cheers from the side. This could well be the climactic moment of the play when the two main opposing figures meet. The moment is well expressed in Henry’s statement using an epigram ‘Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere…. (act v, iv, 71). In using a metaphor to compare him and Hotspur to star, he insinuates that it is not possible for both to exist and one must die.
Despite of Hotspur being an enemy, the prince has great respect for him which is expressed in his words over the dying Hotspur. ‘Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave, But not remember’d in thy epitaph! (act v sc iv 107-108). The prince personifies the nature of
shameful rebellion as nothing to be ashamed about as it will be buried with him in his grave but not linked to his honorable reputation
Douglas targets Falstaff who immediately falls and fakes dying. Hal wins over Hotspur and kills him. While he shows remorse over Falstaff, the man rises instead calming how he feigned death and it was just pretense to escape. Falstaff then Stabs a dead Hotspur and takes credit for killing him hoping the act would gain him a royal title.
The rebels are ultimately defeated and Worcester and Vernon sent away for execution. Hal Frees Douglas and then states that they must prepare for another battle against the Archbishop of York and Hotspur’s father the Earl of Northumberland who are also planning another rebellion.