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KING HENRY the Fifth.
brothers to the King.
JAMY, officers in King Henry's army.
ISABEL, Queen of France.
now married to Pistol.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers,
SCENE : England ; afterwards France.
DURATION OF TIME Dramatic Time. — Ten days with intervals (P. A. Daniel, ' Time Analysis,' Trans. N. Sh. Soc., 1877-79, p. 290 f.).
Day 1. I. 1., 2. Interval.
2. II. I. Interval.
Interval. IV. 1.-8. Interval.
6. III. 5.
8. III. 7.
Historic Time.-From 1414, the year after Henry's accession, to May 20, 1420, the date of his betrothal. Of this, five years (1415-20) pass between days 8 and 10.
1 Daniel assigns this scene (the princess's English lesson) to the time between the French king's offer of her hand to Henry and his rejection of it, both referred to in the Chorus
to Act III.
2 This appears to be on the morrow of St. David's Day, i.e, March 2; hence after the battle, and before the betrothal (v. 2.).
The earliest edition of Henry V. was printed in Quarto Early in 1600, with the following title :
The | Cronicle | History of Henry the fift, 1 with his battell fought at Agin Court in France. Togither with Auntient | Pistoll. As it hath bene sundry times playd by the Right Honorable | the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. | LONDON. | Printed by Thomas Creede, for Tho. Milling-| ton, and John Busby. . . . 1600.'
Other editions of this Quarto (printed for Thomas Pavier instead of for Millington) appeared in 1602 and 1608.
All these texts, however, differed widely from that published by Shakespeare's executors in the Folio of 1623, and their relation to it was for long a burning question, as in the analogous cases of Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives, Henry VI., and Hamlet. But the problem is here a relatively simple one, and scholars are now almost unanimous in holding the Folio text to represent substantially Shakespeare's MS., and the Quarto to be a surreptitious version of the acting edition, 'hastily made up from notes taken at the theatre during the performance and subsequently patched together.' The variations in the Quarto are all, with the trifling exceptions noticed below, easily explicable from one of these two sources of corruption
(1) The five Choruses and Epilogue, with three unessential scenes (i. I., iii. 1., iv. 2.), are omitted. This would be an obvious expedient for curtailing a lengthy play. It is certain from the allusion in Prol. v. to Essex, that these are as old as March to September 1599, the probable date of the entire play. It is pretty safe to assume then that they formed part of the original draft and were omitted in performance.
(2) Several characters are omitted, their speeches being sometimes omitted also, sometimes transferred. Thus in i. 2. Canterbury and Ely coalesce in a single 'Bishop,' though a tell-tale stage direction at the head of the scene describes the entry of 62 bishops.' Similarly in iv. 3. Westmoreland's part is made over to Warwick, while Erpingham, save for a mutilated semblance of his name in a stage direction ('Epingham ') disappears altogether. These changes were an obvious stage-manager's shift to reduce the number of actors required. It is less easy to explain why in the same scene a new character, Clarence, should be introduced (for Bedford), and in iii. 7. another new one, 'Gebon,' for Rambure, and why in the latter scene and in iv. 5. Bourbon should take the place of the Dauphin. These serve no obvious stage interest, nor are they the kind of changes which occur to a botching editor or a speculative printer. It is difficult to resist the inference that Shakespeare did perform some slight redistribution among these in the main faintly distinguished parts. But even this was not thorough-going, --witness the inconsistency still remaining in v. 2. 84, where the Duke of Clarence is addressed as present.
1 Besides the characters men- and iv. 2.), and the French tioned, Britany, Grandpré, Mac- queen have no speeches in the morris, Jamy, Messenger (ii. 4. Qq.