King Henry V


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The Life of Henry the Fifth (a History)


Opening with "O for a Muse of fire", the Chorus explains the chain of events leading up the Henry V's reign as king, as chronicled in Richard II, 1 Henry IV, and 2 Henry IV. The Archbishop of Canterbury and Ely urge Henry V to lay claim to France (tracing the claim back to Edward III) and to fight for it if necessary. Canterbury even promises that the Church will help fund a war. An ambassador from the French Prince (the Dauphin) brings a case of tennis balls to mock Henry V, who quickly vows to attack France. Nym, Pistol, and Bardolph agree to go to France with Henry V to help fight. Falstaff, sick and depressed, cannot. On his way to France, Henry V discovers that Richard Earl of Cambridge, Henry Lord Scroop of Marsham, and Sir Thomas Grey, knight of Northumberland have been paid by the French to murder Henry V. Though they repent, Henry V has the three executed. Falstaff dies in bed, and Pistol's wife Mistress Quickly says goodbye to Nym, Pistol, Bardolph, and Falstaff's boy as they leave for battle. The Dauphin tells the English ambassador the Duke of Exeter (Henry V's uncle; Thomas Beaufort) that he wishes to battle with Henry V, though the King of France (Charles VI) is considering appeasement. Henry attacks the French city of Harfleur and wins. During the battle, the boy, disgusted by their cowardly and criminal behavior, leaves Bardolph, Pistol, and Nym. The French nobles convince the King of France to fight Henry V, but the king won't let his son (the Dauphin) fight even though his son wants to.

Bardolph steals money from a church, and Pistol reports the crime, whereby Bardolph and Nym are executed. The French ambassador Montjoy brings threats from the King of France to Henry V to which Henry vows to continue to fight. On the eve of the battle, the French nobles are very eager to fight and stay up all night, arming at 2 am; the Dauphin arms at midnight. Henry V goes around his cap, disguised as a commoner, trying to raise his soldiers' spirits, though it is hard, since they are all tired and sickly, yet still brave. Before battle, Westmoreland wishes "we had more men" but Henry V quickly responds saying the fewer men, the more honor per person when the battle is won. In battle, Pistol captures a Frenchman for ransom, and the boy (Falstaff's servant) returns to the unguarded camp. The Earl of Suffolk and Edward the Duke of York (Henry V's cousin) both die in battle. The French, losing the battle, defy the Law of Arms and kill all of the boys in the English camp. In retaliation, Henry V has all of the French prisoners killed. The English win the Battle of Agincourt (on Saint Crispin Crispian's Day) with minimal losses: 5 English nobles die plus "five-and-twenty" other English men compared to 10,000 dead Frenchmen. Pistol's wife Nell quickly dies, and Pistol, in despair, vows to return to England to live the life of a thief.

Henry V meets with Katherine (King of France's daughter) while Exeter, the Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester (Henry V's brothers), the Earl of Warwick, and Huntingdon iron out a peace settlement. The King of France agrees to the settlement, including Henry V's marriage to Katherine and Henry's control of France.


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Recent Forum Posts on King Henry V

Henry as the Machiavellian Prince?

Kenneth Branagh (who's work I most certainly am not a fan of) once said in an interview that a Machiavellian reading of the text is "shallow". And despite the fact that Branagh is of course heir to the throne of God, I'm going to have to disagree with him. Henry V is a total Machiavellian ruler. He manipulates his friends, toys with his enemies, understands the concept of correctly capturing new territory, and is a master general, something Machiavelli said was what every ruler should be. Does anyone agree/disagree? I'd love to get your thoughts on this one.


Henry V.

Hello I have to do a 10-15 pages essay about Shakespeare. I have chosen the topic Henry V. - nationalistic or just a product of contemporary views. I'm now searching for some books about this issue, till now I found these: The poetics of English nationhood Henry's wars and Shakespeare's laws A critical commentary on Shakespeare's "Henry V" Can you add to this list? thanks in advance.


What does this word mean?

“The farced tide running fore the king,” Hen V ACT IV. SCENE I. This seems to be the only occourance of 'farced' in the WS canon. Does anyone know what it actually means? Is there another example outside of WS? Is it the past tense?


Henry V help!

How is authority shown in henry v by William Shakespeare??


The Use of the Chorus

Hello! I have been asked to write an essay regarding the use of the Chorus speeches in Henry V and the dramatic purposes they fulfil. This is my plan for the essay: Introduction – Briefly outline the plot of Henry V and give some background information Paragraph 1 – Short history on the use of a chorus Paragraph 2 – The chorus is used to set the mood for the following scene by using certain language and techniques Paragraph 3 – Shakespeare uses the chorus to show things that cannot be shown in a play or on stage; apologies. Paragraph 4 – The chorus is used to bridge a gap between the actions, yet keep it tight at the same time and keep the dramatic action. Paragraph 5 – The Chorus is used to glorify England and its monarchy. Im pretty darn stuck on what to put for Paragraph 5, it would be loverlllyy if you could help =]


Figurative language in Henry V

I was assigned these through study passages from Henry V : Act 1 scene 1 lines 24-66 (1.1:24-66) Canterbury/ Ely "The courses of his youth...." Are these 2 gentlemen seriously examining the King's issues with France or are they looking rather intently at their own interests? What are they really saying about the King's questionable behavior as a prince? What is meant by the image: "Strawberry... underneath the nettle"? 1.2:237-297 Ambassadors/ King Henry/ Exeter "May it please your majesty..." What bold statement is the Dauphin of France registering here through his ambassadors? How effectively are the terms of tennis sustained throughout this passage? How do you judge the king's response? Concerned and embarrassed or does he demonstrate the regal poise expetced of a model monarch? 4.1:87-301 Bates/ court/ williams/ King Henry "Brother John Bates...." These lines may be the key to unlock both Henry IV part I and Henry V. Why does king go disguised among the common soldiers during darkest hour of the night? Is it to comfort the troops and genuinely learn their will or is this a troubled mind looking for support and not finding it? What do you make of the logic used by Williams? What's the conclusion you draw from all of this? 5.2: 136-291 King Henry/ Katherine "Marry, if you would......" is this a touching love scene that impressivlely culminates a powerful play or is it a facade that plays with the French language, convincing us that she cares not at all for him and that he has minimal interest in her? what key words and phrass persuaded you? I am an independent study student and I am trying to get the discussion aspect that I miss without beining in a classroom. Any ideas or suggestions help more than you know and are greatly appreciated. The italicized words are to help you find the passages since not all books are numbered the same. My assignment is to write at least 2 paragraphs for each of the above passages one in which I identify literarcy techniques employed and another in which i discuss how these techniques effectively emphasize the important issues presented by Shakespeare. Also comment on his success in using sound patterns to give these ideas artistic emphasis. Thanks


Significant issues in Henry V

I am trying to find the two most significant issues Shakespeare asks his audience to wrestle with in henry V. I am suppossed to discuss his refusal to answer any simple questions with easy answers and the issues revlevence in today's world. Also these three questions. 1. Discuss the role played by the archbishop of canterbury in this play. 2. discuss role of Falstaff in this drama. ( not a trick question) 3. Discuss the realtionship between Henry V and Katherine of France. Is this love or exploitation?


war and nationalism in henry V

i have an essay to do and i can't do anything in it. i need some help please. the question says,'many people say that shakespeare's Henry V glorifies war and nationalism. to what extent do you agree with this statement? ' Please explore and explain the quotations which backup this statement and are against it . And why shakespeare may have wanted to glorify war and nationalism. quotations: Act 4 Scene 7 lines 31-38 Act 4 Scene 7 lines 54-64 Act 3 scene 1 Act 3 scene 3 Prologue to act 1 Act 1 scene 2 Act 4 scene 3 lines 56-67 Act 3 scene 6


from Henry the Fifthe

O! for a Muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention; A kindgom for a stage, princes to act And monarchs to behold the swelling scene. Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire Crouch for employment.


Death of Falstaff.

I was watching an Agatha Christy DVD - one of the Poirot stories Granada filmed with the excellent David Suchet playing the pear-shaped, little detective - when one of the characters read out the description of the death of Socrates from Plato. Suddenly the similarity of Mistress Quickly's description of the Death of Falstaff struck. I'd never registered the similarities before (although I possibly had read about it). Why now? I suspect it had something to do with the performance - the fact that I had heard an actor deliver the description, and that Dame Judy Dench's delivery of the Shakespeare had lodged very firmly in 'd' little grey cells'. Was it tone of voice, or manner of delivery? I don't know - but if it struck me, sat in front of a t.v. in provincial Hungary, how much more quickly it would have struck the audience in Shakespeare's London - not just used to listening more carefully, but primed in the classics. What was Shakespeare up to with the connection? :idea: Two diametrically opposed possibilities pop into my mind. Either: Shakespeare is suggesting that Falstaff, like Socrates, has to be 'killed-off' for perverting the youth of the nation - that it is a judicial action on behalf of the authorities (not to mention the playwright) to rid itself of a rotten apple before the whole basket is useless; Or: Shakespeare is making it very clear that Falstaff has died a death undeserved and the authorities really should be elevating him to the pantheon of greats for the service he has done in educating the young of the nation in the realities of the world - just like Socrates. And then that really irritating habit of thought Shakespeare had of 'negative capability' kicks in - you just know he meant both at the same time. Both Socrates and Falstaff will be remembered long into the future - and the youth of nations not yet formed will admire the disgraceful lack of respect for constituted authority they both have in abundance. And the rediculousness of comparing the 'great philosopher' with the 'tub of lard' will stick in the minds of the older and wiser.


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