Folger Shakespeare Library
Stage and Screen Education and Inspiration The American Identity



"The King is But a Man" Speech from Henry V

The King is But a Man Speech from Henry V
Alan Simpson, United States Senator from Wyoming, 1979 to 1997

ALAN SIMPSON: I'm Al Simpson. I was United States Senator from Wyoming for eighteen years.

I think the King is but a man as I am. The violet smells to him as it doth to me. The element shows to him as it doth to me. All his senses have but human conditions. His ceremonies laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man, and though his affections are higher mounted than ours, yet when they stoop, they stoop with the like wing. Therefore, when he sees reason of fears as we do, his fears, out of doubt, be of the same relish as ours are. Yet, in reason, no man should possess him with any appearance of fear, lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.