Act II, Scene 4
Prince Hal has recently returned from a night of drinking with some random men. He argues that this will be good for him because, as King, he will be able to talk with anyone in his kingdom. He thanks Poins for joining him in tricking Falstaff and plans to kill the time waiting for Falstaff by having fun with Francis, the boy who works at the tavern. He tells Poins to go into the other room and call for Francis.
Francis rushes in, ready to serve, but Hal pulls him aside. He asks him a lot of questions about how long he is contracted to serve and how old he is. The whole time Poins repeatedly calls for Francis. Hal won’t let him leave though. He wants to know about the sugar he was given earlier and how much it cost. He then offers to give the flustered Francis a thousand pounds whenever Francis asks. Eventually the situation devolves into both Poins and Hal calling for Francis and Francis not knowing what to do.
The Vinter sends Francis off and informs Hal that Falstaff is on his way. Hal tells him to delay Falstaff a bit and then he calls back Poins. They get ready for the hilarity that is certain to ensue. Hal resolves to play the role of Hotspur and make Falstaff into his wife.
Falstaff bounds in swearing, repeatedly, a plague on all cowards. He insists that those two ran off and allowed him and the others to be set upon by multiple men. As he continues with the story, the number of men he faced increased from two, to four, to seven, to nine, to eleven. Whenever Hal tries to point out inconsistencies in his story, Falstaff brushes them off without really addressing them.
Finally, Hal explains that he knows Falstaff is lying because it was he and Poins that robbed them. He mocks them for running off. Falstaff explains that he knew it was Hal the whole time and that’s why he ran off. He wasn’t about to attack a prince. Hal scoffs at this, but let’s it go.
Mistress Quickly comes running in to let Hal know that a nobleman has come with a message from the King. Hal wants him to be sent off and Falstaff offers to do it.
While Falstaff is gone, Hal confirms with his compatriots that Falstaff was lying. They confirm that they all ran out of legitimate fear. They also said that Falstaff just made it look like he was in a big fight.
When Falstaff returns, Hal asks him how long it had been since he saw his own knees. Falstaff insists that when he was Hal’s age he was but a twig of a man. Then, Falstaff delivers the news that Hotspur has allied himself with Mortimer, Glendower, and Douglas. Hal knows that he will have to go and see his father.
Falstaff plays the part of the King. He scolds Hal for associating with such bad people and for doing so many unseemly things. He is however glad to hear that Hal associates with the noble Falstaff. He goes on about how great he is for so long that Hal decides he should play the King instead. Falstaff now takes on the role of Hal. Hal, like Falstaff, scolds the Prince for his unseemly behavior, but unlike Falstaff he does not reflect kindly on Falstaff. He insists that Falstaff and all the others will have to be banished. Falstaff argues that he shouldn’t banish the good natured Falstaff. He should banish all the rest, but not Falstaff. Hal, as the King (?), insists that Falstaff must be banished.
Now Mistress Quickly comes in with a new problem, the Sheriff and a bunch of men are here. Falstaff hides himself and Hal covers for him. Falstaff immediately passes out in his hiding place. Peto and Hal look through his pockets and find nothing of interest but a bar tab. Hal decides to pay back the stolen money.
Act III, Scene 1
Hotspur can’t seem to just hold his tongue around his allies. As they prepare to divide England, Glendower claims that the Earth shook and the Heavens were on fire when he was born. Hotspur thinks that’s just nonsense and, if it did happen, the Earth would have done that whether or not Glendower was born. Glendower then insists he can summon spirits. Hotspur retorts that any man can call for spirits, but will the spirits answer when he calls? Glendower says he can summon the devil and will teach Hotspur to do the same. Hotspur says if he summons the devil, then Hotspur will shame the devil by telling the truth. Glendower tries one last time to assert his mystical power by explaining how he has sent King Henry packing every time they meet in battle. Hotspur doesn’t seem impressed.
With all attempts at being impressive failed, Glendower turns attention to the map. Mortimer explains how the archdeacon has divided up the land. Mortimer gets the Southeastern parts, Glendower the west, and Hotspur the North. Hotspur is pretty sure that his section is smaller than the other two because of how a waterway winds across. He insists that it be straightened out. Mortimer isn’t a huge fan of this plan because it makes his chunk smaller. Worcester argues that it’s not that big of a difference for Mortimer. Hotspur demands that it be done. Glendower says no. Hotspur then mocks him for being Welsh. Glendower gets frustrated because he is clearly speaking English. Hotspur waves off the whole situation as though it is no big deal.
Glendower leaves to fetch the wives so that they can all say goodbye. Mortimer scolds Hotspur for making Glendower so mad. Hotspur just finds him so darn tedious with all of his silly magic stuff. Mortimer warns that the only reason Glendower hasn’t done anything to Hotspur is because he respects Hotspur’s fiery temperament. Worcester joins in the scolding and Hotspur agrees to stop being so difficult.
Mortimer talks of sweet love with his new wife through his father-in-law who serves as translator. Unfortunately, Mortimer speaks no Welsh and his wife speaks no English. That doesn’t seem to matter though. They understand each other’s loving looks and kisses. Mortimer’s wife wants him to lay his head in her lap so that she can sing him to sleep. He does.
Hotspur and his wife poke a little fun at the whole situation. He insists on hearing her song, but she refuses. They leave together. Glendower tells Mortimer it’s time to go.
Act III, Scene 2
The King wants to have a word alone with his son. He starts by assuming that God has given him such a son to punish him for some previous wrongdoing. Hal wishes he could be absolved of all past offenses. Henry warns him that had he behaved like Hal does, he would not be King. He would be banished still. But, he made himself known to the people without drawing unnecessary attention to himself. Hal, however, is acting a lot like Richard, basking in popularity. Hal promises to act better. The King doesn’t quite buy it and compares him again to Richard. He starts telling Hal about how his enemies are coming together to rise against him. The King wonders why he is even bothering to tell Hal all of this since Hal is his greatest enemy by far. Hal promises his father that he will kill Hotspur and in doing so, make up for all of his shortcomings. The King seems to believe his son’s promises and calls back in the Lords to draw up the battle plans.
Blunt informs them that the English rebels have met up with the Scotsman, Douglas at Shrewsbury. There is where they will prepare to make their stand. The King has already sent Westmoreland and his younger son to march toward Shrewsbury. Hal will follow next, marching through Gloucestershire. The King and his men will follow the next day and they will all meet to face the rebels.
Act III, Scene 3
Falstaff is throwing a fit because someone has picked his pockets. Mistress Quickly tried to find the culprits, but failed. Falstaff begins asserting that her boarding house is becoming one of ill repute. She resents this. Falstaff insists that a large sum of money was taken and his grandfather’s ring, which itself was worth quite a bit of money. Mistress Quickly bites back that Prince Hal himself said the ring was nothing but a copper trinket. Falstaff takes great offense to this and swears to beat the Prince.
That is exactly when Hal walks into the tavern. Falstaff quickly explains the situation and Hal quickly dismisses the ring as worthless. That’s when Mistress Quickly jumps in and says that Falstaff said a lot of horrible things about the Prince. Falstaff, of course, denies this and starts slandering Mistress Quickly. They go back and forth and Hal is taken aback by the horrible things Falstaff is saying. Mistress Quickly says Falstaff claimed Hal owed him a thousand pounds. Hal asks if this is true and Falstaff explains that he only meant the Prince’s love. Mistress Quickly says that Falstaff wanted to beat him. Hal asks Bardolph if this is true and he confirms it. Falstaff explains that was only if the Prince said his ring was copper, which Hal immediately does. Falstaff explains that he doesn’t fear Hal the way he fears the King.
Hal puts an end to the whole affair by revealing that he is the one who picked Falstaff’s pocket and there was nothing of any worth in there. Falstaff apologizes to Mistress Quickly and then asks Hal if the whole robbery situation is resolved. It is. Hal paid the money back with interest. Hal gives Falstaff charge of a command and sends the others off with notes to local Lords, calling them to battle.