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Literature Study GuidesHenry VAct 2 Scene 3 Summary

Henry V | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Henry V | Act 2, Scene 3 | Summary



In London, Pistol, Nym, Bardolph, Mistress Quickly, and the boy are gloomy because Falstaff is dead. Mistress Quickly explains how he died, and they reminisce about his past antics in efforts to cheer themselves up. Pistol, Nym, and Bardolph note that they are off to France soon and bid farewell to Mistress Quickly.


This scene evokes conflicting emotions. On the one hand, there is a sense of sadness and nostalgia as the characters remember Falstaff, mostly with fondness. On the other hand, Mistress Quickly's frequent misuse and misunderstanding of words provides comedy. For example, she says that Falstaff has gone to "Arthur's bosom," when the correct term is "Abraham's bosom." And when the boy notes that Falstaff "said [women] were devils incarnate," she responds to the word "incarnate" with a comment about the similar-sounding word "carnation": "He could never abide carnation. 'Twas a color he never liked."

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