Performing the Queen's Men

Famous Victories : The Sick Chair

Clue 3: Set Me Right...

...Enter Lord of EXETER and OXFORD.

Come easily, my lord, for waking of the King.

KING HENRY IV: Now, my lords.

OXFORD: How doth your Grace feel yourself?

KING HENRY IV: Somewhat better after my sleep. But good my lords take off my crown, remove my chair a little back, and set me right.

Just as we seem to have a solution, the king refers not to a bed but to a chair. It is possible that he has got out of bed and is asking his lords to move a chair into a better position. But the fact that the king has to ask the lords to take the crown of his head implies that he would not have the strength to stand let alone move from a bed to a chair. The phrase, "set me right" implies that he is asking the lords to make him comfortable, as though they might adjust his pillows or help him shift his position now that he is awake. The possibility arises that he was sleeping in a chair and that it is a chair that can be moved while the king is still in it.