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Five-Minute Henry V

by Lea Frost

Act I

Chorus: We know our play's low-budget. Use your imagination.

Archbishop of Canterbury: The King's trying to cut off Church revenue!
Bishop of Ely: What should we do?
Archbishop of Canterbury: We'll get him to go to war. That usually works.

Henry V: You're sure we have an excuse to invade France?
Archbishop of Canterbury: Oh yeah, it's all based on Salic Law. I can't be arsed to explain the whole thing, but you're on really solid ground.
Henry: Great. Send in the French ambassador.
Ambassador: The Dauphin sends you some tennis balls and says to bugger off.
Henry: We'll bugger him!

Act II

Chorus: Everyone's off to war, but there are traitors after the King. We'll take you to Southampton to see what happens, but we'll do this other scene first. Hey, don't blame me, I'm just the Chorus.

Boy: Falstaff's really sick!
Nym: It's the King's fault.
Pistol: Yeah. He's a good chap.

Henry: You know that drunk guy who was ranting about me the other day? I think I'll let him off with a warning.
Scroope: Let him off? You should flog him!
Henry: Well, you see, normally I'd agree, but not when it's coming from someone who's plotting against me. Book 'em, Exeter.
Scroope: Would it help if I said I was sorry?
Henry: Yeah, but not very much.

Pistol: Well, Falstaff's dead.
All: Bummer.
Quickly: If if makes you feel any better, I'm sure he's in Arthur's bosom.
Bardolph: Yeah. He was a good bloke.
Pistol: Well, off to war for us, then.

French King: So, people, what should we do about our English problem?
Dauphin: We'll kick their asses! Their king's a weenie.
Constable: Shut your yap already.
Exeter: King Henry says hello and asks if you're ready to hand over the crown. Oh, and he's pissed off about the tennis balls.
Dauphin: Bite me.


Chorus: There's a battle going on! Again I say: use your imagination.

Henry: Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!
Pistol: I'd rather not.

Fluellen: I'm Welsh!
Jamy: I'm Scottish!
Macmorris: I'm Oirish!
All: And it's hilarious!

Henry: Do you surrender, or do we have to come in and commit atrocities?
Governor of Harfleur: We surrender!

Katherine: Vous savez, l'anglais est une langue très méchant. ("You know, English is a very naughty language!")
Alice: Mais oui! ("Of course!")

Dauphin: Well, we got pasted. God, this is so embarrassing.
Constable: How did they learn to fight like that? Is it the weather in England?
French King: Montjoy, go ask Henry if he's ready to throw in the towel. That oughta work.

Pistol: They're going to hang Bardolph! Can't you do something about it?
Fluellen: Sorry, no can do.
Henry: So, how's it going, Fluellen?
Fluellen: Great! No casualties but one -- they're stringing up that guy with acne.
Henry: Damn, that sucks. But what can you do?
Montjoy: So, do you surrender?
Henry: Bite me.

Dauphin: Isn't it time to fight yet?
Constable: Go think up more innuendo about your horse.
Orléans: Those English sure are funny, though.
Constable: Yeah. They eat lots of beef.

Act IV

Chorus: Now pretend it's nighttime, and we're at the English camp, where everyone thinks they're going to die.

Henry: Hey, Sir Thomas! Hand over the cloak!
Erpingham: Sure thing.
Henry: So, lads, how's it hanging?
Williams: Great, except we're all going to die tomorrow. Well, except the King, I guess.
Henry: But he said he'd never be ransomed!
Williams: Says he.
Henry: You take that back!
Bates: Hey, save it for the French, both of you!

Henry: Being king really sucks. Everything's always your fault, and you can't even sleep at night.

Westmorland: You know, we could use more men.
Henry: Don't say that -- when we're finished, they'll all wish they'd been here! Now go kick some French hinder!
All: Woo-hoo!
York: I wanna go in front!
Montjoy: So...ransom?
Henry: Over my dead body!

(Lots of people fight and die, including York, Suffolk, the Constable of France, and a lot of Boys.)

Montjoy: Well, you guys won. Big time.
Henry: It was God's work, not ours.

Act V

Chorus: The victory parties were great, but the budget won't allow us to show it.

Pistol: Well, the war's over and my wife died while I was away. I hear there's decent money in the pickpocketing business...

Burgundy: All right, people, let's talk treaty.
Henry: I'll leave that up to you guys -- I have to negotiate with the Princess. So, Katherine, you're okay with this whole marriage thing, right?
Katherine: Well, it's not like I really have a choice.
Henry: No, not really.
French King: Treaty's done!
Westmorland: We made off like bandits.
Henry: Nice.

Chorus: Henry V died young and his son wrecked everything. Hope you liked the show!


Previous fiver: Henry IV, Part 2
Next fiver: Henry VI, Part 1

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This fiver was originally published on March 18, 2001.

UN-DISCLAIMER: Nothing here is copyrighted by Paramount Pictures, and Will Shakespeare is long dead. Ergo, no disclaimers are necessary. In their faces.

All material © 2000, Lea Luecking Frost.