A monologue from the play "Henry IV Part 2" by William Shakespeare



About this Monologue

  • Character: Lady Percy
  • Gender: Female
  • Age Range(s): Young Adult (20-35), Adult (36-50)
  • Type of monologue / Character is: Angry, Scolding, Persuasive, Complaining, Frustrated
  • Type: Dramatic
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Historical
  • Description: Lady Percy reprimands the Earl of Northumberland
  • Location: ACT II, Scene 3


In Henry IV part 1 King Henry IV had to deal with a rebel army trying to depose him. The king's army had fought the rebel army, led by Hotspur, at Shrewsbury. Part 2 starts with the rebels losing the battle against the king but they soon reorganize under the leadership of the Archbishop of York, Thomas Mowbray, Lord Hastings and Lord Bardolph.

Among the people fIghting for the king we find Falstaff, a funny, aging small time criminal who is also good friends with Prince Henry, the king's son, with whom he spends time at various taverns. Falstaff gets the credit for having killed Hotspur, the leader of rebel army, ...

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O yet, for God's sake, go not to these wars!
The time was, father, that you broke your word,
When you were more endeared to it than now;
When your own Percy, when my heart's dear Harry,
Threw many a northward look to see his father
Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain.
Who then persuaded you to stay at home?
There were two honours lost, yours and your son's.
For yours, the God of heaven brighten it!
For his, it stuck upon him as the sun
In the grey vault of heaven, and by his light
Did all the chivalry of England move
To do brave acts: he was indeed the glass
Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves:
He had no legs that practised not his gait;
And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
Became the accents of the valiant;
For those that could speak low and tardily
Would turn their own perfection to abuse,
To seem like him: so that in speech, in gait,
In diet, in affections of delight,
In military rules, humours of blood,
He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
That fashion'd others. And him, O wondrous him!
O miracle of men! him did you leave,
Second to none, unseconded by you,
To look upon the hideous god of war
In disadvantage; to abide a field
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name
Did seem defensible: so you left him.
Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong
To hold your honour more precise and nice
With others than with him! let them alone:
The marshal and the archbishop are strong:
Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck,
Have talk'd of Monmouth's grave.

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