And so, our play moves swiftly on, with wings of no less speed than thought. Imagine that you’ve seen the well-equipped king embark his royal ship at Dover pier, his proud fleet fanning the early morning sun with streamers. Let your imagination roam and see young sailors climbing up the ropes: hear the bo’sun’s whistle, which brings order out of chaos: behold the woven sails, driven by the invisible and stealthy wind, draw the huge hulks though the furrowed sea, forcing their way through the lofty swell. Oh, only imagine yourself standing on the shore and see a city dancing on the surging billows – because that’s what this majestic fleet looks like as it holds its steady course for Harfleur. Follow, follow! Harness your imaginations to the stern of this navy and leave your England, quiet as the midnight hour, guarded by grandfathers, babies and old women – citizens either past their prime or not yet reached maturity – because who, with even just one appearing hair on his chin, would not follow these choice and exclusive cavaliers to France? Work, work on your imagination and see in it a siege. See the cannons on their mountings, their deadly barrels aimed at stricken Harfleur. Imagine that the ambassador comes back from the French and tells Harry that the King is offering him Katherine, his daughter, and with her, a dowry of some insignificant and worthless dukedoms. The offer is scorned and the skilful gunner touches off the devilish cannon with a flame, and down goes all before them. Continue to have patience with us and flesh out our performance with your imagination.

 

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Read more scenes from Henry V:

Henry V in modern English | Henry V original text
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Modern Henry V Act 1, Prologue | Original text of Henry V Act 1, Prologue
Modern Henry V Act 1, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 1, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 1, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 1, Scene 2
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Modern Henry V Act 2, Chorus | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Chorus
Modern Henry V Act 2, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 2, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Scene 2
Modern Henry V Act 2, Scene 3 | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Scene 3
Modern Henry V Act 2, Scene 4 | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Scene 4
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Modern Henry V Act 3, Chorus | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Chorus
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 2
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 3 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 3
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 4 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 4
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 5 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 5
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 6 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 6
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 7 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 7
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Modern Henry V Act 4, Chorus | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Chorus
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 2
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 3 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 3
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 4 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 4
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 5 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 5
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 6 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 6
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 7 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 7
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 8 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 8
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Modern Henry V Act 5, Chorus | Original text of Henry V Act 5, Chorus
Modern Henry V Act 5, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 5, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 5, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 5, Scene 2
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Modern Henry V Epilogue | Original text of Henry V Epilogue

 

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