Henry V

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Flourish. Enter Chorus


O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention,
invention (n.) 1 inventiveness, imagination, creative faculty

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
swelling (adj.) 4 magnificent, grand, resplendant

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars, and at his heels,
port (n.) 2 bearing, demeanour, carriage

Leashed in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire

Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
gentle (n.) 2 (plural) ladies and gentlemen, gentlefolk

The flat unraised spirits that have dared
flat (adj.) 3 feeble, dull, deficient
unraised (adj.) ordinary, humdrum, unimaginative

On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
scaffold (n.) stage, platform [in a theatre]

So great an object. Can this cockpit hold
cockpit (n.) theatre pit, theatrical arena

The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
vasty (adj.) vast, immense, spacious

Within this wooden O the very casques
casque, caske (n.) helmet See Topics: Weapons

That did affright the air at Agincourt?
affright (v.) frighten, terrify, scare

O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
crooked (adj.) 2 rounded, curved

Attest in little place a million,
attest (v.) 1 vouch for, be evidence of, testify to

And let us, ciphers to this great account,
account, accompt (n.) 1 reckoning, judgement [especially by God]
cipher (n.) figure nought, nonentity, mere nothing

On your imaginary forces work.
imaginary (adj.) imaginative, creative, of the imagination

Suppose within the girdle of these walls

Are now confined two mighty monarchies,

Whose high upreared and abutting fronts

The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.

Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:

Into a thousand parts divide one man,

And make imaginary puissance.
puissance (n.) power, might, force

Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them

Printing their proud hoofs i'th' receiving earth;
proud (adj.) 3 high-spirited, high-mettled

For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
deck (v.) cover, adorn, decorate

Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,

Turning th' accomplishment of many years

Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,

Admit me Chorus to this history,
chorus (n.) character in a play who speaks the prologue and comments on the course of events

Who Prologue-like your humble patience pray,

Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.


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