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Henry IV, Part 1

Critique • Quotes

Henry IV in first quartoTitle page in first quarto, 1599
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First performance

Literary form

Historical, comedy

Writing language

Author's country

Five acts, 3,081 lines, approx. 24,000 words

Notable lines

So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenc'd in stronds afar remote.

— First lines

Prince Hal: Why, thou owest God a death.
Falstaff: ‘Tis not due yet, I would be loath to pay him before his day.


If all the year were playing-holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work.


What is honour? A word. What is that honour? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. 'Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.


The better part of valour is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life.


And since this business so fair is done,
Let us not leave till all our own be won.

— Last lines


Critique • Quotes