Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.
Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.

Henry VIII
Shakescleare Translation

Henry VIII Translation Act 5, Epilogue

Line Map Clear Line Map Add


'Tis ten to one this play can never please All that are here: some come to take their ease, And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear, We have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear, They'll say 'tis naught: others, to hear the city Abused extremely, and to cry 'That's witty!' Which we have not done neither: that, I fear, All the expected good we're like to hear For this play at this time, is only in The merciful construction of good women; For such a one we show'd 'em: if they smile, And say 'twill do, I know, within a while All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap, If they hold when their ladies bid 'em clap.


It's almost certain that this play can't please everyone here. Some have come to relax and sleep for an act or two. But I'm afraid we've frightened those people with our trumpets. So of course they'll say the play's worthless. Others came to hear the city insulted and to cry out, "That's witty!" and we haven't done that either. So I fear the only good we'll hear about this play for now is from good women who like it because we've showed them a good woman. If they smile and say it'll do, I know that all the best men will be on our side. Because it won't do them any good not to clap when their wives tell them to.

Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Henry VIII Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 1338 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 29,391 quotes covering 1338 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms