Performing the Queen's Men

Famous Victories : The Sick Chair

Clue 2: Harry, Thrice Unhappy

SCRIPT

...He sleepeth.


Enter HENRY V.

HENRY V: Ah, Harry, thrice unhappy, that hath neglect so long from visiting of thy sick father. I will go. Nay, but why do I not go to the chamber of my sick father, to comfort the melancholy soul of his body? His soul, said I; here is his body indeed, but his soul is whereas it needs no body. Now thrice accursed Harry, that hath offended thy father so much, and could not I crave pardon for all. Oh, my dying father, cursed be the day wherein I was born, and accursed be the hour wherein I was begotten, but what shall I do? If weeping tears which come too late may suffice the negligence neglected to some, I will weep day and night until the fountain be dry with weeping.

Exit.

This is a confusing section of text. The prince enters but it appears that he is not yet in the room with his father since he questions the fact that he has not visited him. Without any reference to his movement on the stage, he then sees his father and believes he is dead. If we follow through with the option of the curtained bed then this makes a little more sense. When the prince enters the curtains are closed and he cannot see his father after his rhetorical question: “Nay, but why do I not go to the chamber of my sick father, to comfort the melancholy soul of his body?” he moves over and draws back the curtains revealing what he believes to be his father’s dead body. So far the option of using a bed within a curtained mansion is working rather well.