Agincourt was won because it was a heavily rainy period in that section of France. The drenched earth inhibited the progress of the Fr. cavalry, armour weighted war-horses, and armoured knights. Terribly slowed by mud, they were especially easy targets for the skilled longbow archers, who loosed their arrows safely from a great distance. This was followed by the lighter armed Eng. footsoldier who dispatched the heavily armoured Fr. men-at-arms with relative ease. Same reasoning re: mobility in the mud. Nonetheless, Henry V must be credited with the resounding victory though the weather favored him.
Henry IV was a usurper and not much of a king. His son, Hal appeared to be unreliable and painteFalstaffd the town red with Falstaff and his gang. However, Hal found himself between a rock and a hard place and thus, he had to dismiss Falstaff. It has been called 'betrayal', and to a degree it is but there had to come a time when Henry V, as he now was, had to grow up. <br>Personally speaking, I much prefered Hotspur! I think he would have made a better king...I doubt that Henry V would have won Agincourt without his marvellous Cheshire and Welsh lowbow archers...they were the winners of the day!<br>Just a note that may interest: The Longbow, invented by the Welsh, was 7 feet in height and its arrow was a yard long...called a 'clotharrow' because a yard measuredcloth!!!! It was deadly accurate at about 400 ft. but could hurt you from about 500ft ! So good were these achers that when the Scots caught them, they removed the first 2 fingers of the archer's right hand so they'd never be able to aim an arrow again...from that came the...er...impolite 2 finger sign!
Take another look at all the speeches, intents, actions, military strategies and leadership of Henry IV and I'm sure you will see that he is a humongous character. With all respect, he was a very substantial king. Also, as you study him, his intellect is immense. There's a touch of Richard II's poetry, Macbeth's philosophic sadness, Lear's toughness towards a child and Prospero's love for a child. True, he guiltily does Rich II in, his bad, bad move. On the other hand, Richard stole his inheritance and was poor for England (and I am pro-Richard II).
Henry IV is tough to act, partially because he is overshadowed by Falstaff and Hal's antics, and Hotspur's gallant greatness (which I also see as highly comedic). Also it is a tough role because his language is extremely rich and his thoughts are long (4-5+ lines). He has basically no one in his kingdom that he can talk to on the same intellectual level. He's basically as lonely as Richard II became.
About Hal...all during Henry IV (both parts) heīs a character who canīt really be pegged one way or the other. He does seem to be very much attached to Falstaff and that lifestyle, yet he misses no opportunity to ridicule and attempt to get the "upper" hand against his teacher/surrogate father: Falstaff.
What happens with Falstaff when Hal becomes Henry V is most definately betrayal. This from the point of view of the relationship Falstaff thought they had (he dies because Henry V rejects him!). It is not betrayal from the point of view of the state, which is what Henry V comes to symbolize later on. This he does against what Falstaff was in the previous plays: the uttmost representation of life, love and freedom (true, heīs not the most ethically correct man, but he is very much the vision of life). In this sense, the, apparently, undecisive Hal becomes the state (control), ironically, with the help of the wit of Falstaff (life).
Now Hotspur is unmasked as a vile and ambitous man halfway through Henry IV part I. Even if at first it seems Hotspur is a much better leader, it soom becomes apparent that heīs only looking after his own ambitions, making him not unlike Richard III. Hal is still undecided (or so it seems, because there are speeches and attitudes that could mark him as already being decided on the state, and the eternal opposite of Falstaff) so even in the light of Hotspurīs ambitions we still believe that he would make the better king. This is not helped by the fact that Hal takes the crown from a dying Henry IV. Despite all of this, we must always come back to the same point: Hotspur looked to advance his own position in government, Hal/Henry V looks to advance his honor by making the country powerful. This is critical because it marks the difference between a "would have been" disastrous king and the brilliant, if somewhat hypocritical and betraying, Henry V.
Hi New to this forum, so greetings. I'm currently watching the BBC DVD histories in chronological order. My question is what is the link between the first tetralogy and the second tetralogy. The first tetralogy ends as we know with the triumph of the Lancastrian Henry VII over the Yorkist Richard III. However in Henry IV Bolingbroke identifies himself with the Lancastrian cause Yet in this tetralogy he is seen as the villain as he usurps Richard II. So do we know where Shakespeares sympathies lie I had thought naively that the histories were essentially tudor propaganda justifying the reign of the tudors hence the blackening of Richard III but now I'm not so sure. Any ideas anyone