Henry IV part 2 Summary Act 4

At dinner with his sons, King Henry questions his younger son Clarence about Prince Hals whereabouts.  Clarence replies that the Prince is attending a dinner in London with his friends. The King scolds Clarence saying he should have been with his brother as he is liable to fall in bad company.

Meanwhile the rebel army is being led by Lord Mowbray lord Hastings, the Archbishop of York and Lord John Coleville. The King’s envoy the Earl of Westmoreland requests them to meet Prince John for talks to reach an agreement. Prince John of Lancaster promises the rebels he will take all their grievances into account.

Westmoreland then has Lord Mowbray, the Archbishop and lord Hasting arrested on grounds of treason. Prince John disperses the rebel soldiers. The Prince then tells them that their grievances do not rule out the fact of their revolt against the king.

 Coleville has escaped into the woods and encounters Falstaff. Thinking Falstaff to be the man who killed Hotspur he surrenders to Falstaff. Prince John catches up to them takes charge of Coleville and sends him away to be executed. He releases Falstaff who wants leave to travel to Gloucester.

Westmoreland informs an ailing King Henry of the rebels defeat by Prince John. The King tries to congratulate him but in his weakness faints instead. Westmoreland and Lord Warwick help him to bed. Prince Hal hears the news of his father from Clarence and enters the Kings chamber to sit by his side. Hal believing his father to be dead takes the crown and places it upon his head delivering a soliloquy as to the dangers of the crown and how it had made the king a servant to its glory. He claims that the crown has murdered his father but even in the same breath he declares he must accept his fate and wear the crown upon his head too as heir to the king.

 When the king sees the Crown Missing he sends for Hal and delivers a moving speech to Hal. He voices his concern over Hals choice of friends and that he might not be an efficient King. The Prince instead asks to be forgiven and promises to make a good king. Henry then tells Hal how he wished he were able to lead a crusade to Jerusalem but the problems of his reign did not allow it. He advises Hal on strengthening the throne and increasing the kingdom.   Prince John and other lords return to be with the king who proclaims a last wish to be carried to the chamber named Jerusalem so that he can die there in peace.

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