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MonkeyNotes-Henry VI, Part 1 by William Shakespeare

Table of Contents

Act IV, Scene II

Summary

Talbot approaches Bordeaux with the intent to win the city.
The general guarding the city refuses to submit to Talbotís
demand of a peaceful surrender. He informs Talbot that they
are well fortified against him. Moreover, the Dauphin has him
surrounded on both sides cutting off possible escape. Talbot
refuses to give up courage and resolve to meet the situation
head on.

Notes

Talbotís name has long since been a source of fear for the
French. As Talbotís words reveal he is the harbinger of
"famine, quartering steel and climbing fire." So far, he has
remained unvanquished and free. And the one time he was
captured was because of Fastolfeís desertion. But this scene
finds him trapped. He realizes the grim gravity of the situation
but refuses to give in to fear. He uses the metaphor of hunting
as he compares himself and his men to "timorous deer" and the
French to "curs." He extends the metaphor and resolves that
they will turn on the French "with heads of steel." This scene
brings into clear focus the extent and reality of his courage.
Finding himself in a desperate situation, he does not lose his
head but in a true knight-like fashion resolves to fight unto
death.

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MonkeyNotes-Henry VI, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
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