• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

AS and A Level: Henry V

Browse by

Currently browsing by:

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. It is easy to see how Henry V can be seen as an inspirational play, to its original audience. When Shakespeare was writing this play, he obviously used a variety of different methods to inspire his English audience.

    This way of thinking about him remains constant. Shakespeare would have done this for a specific reason. He starts the play by basically comparing Henry against two high-ranking religious officials, making Henry seem like a normal person. This would have allowed the various social classes that were in the audience to feel some sort of connection with Henry. They would be able to see him as one of them. That way, when Henry accomplished something, they all accomplished something. When Henry overcame adversity, they all overcame adversity.

    • Word count: 1640
  2. Discuss the dramatic purposes of the chorus speeches in Henry V

    The Chorus serves a different purpose in every act, but its general role is to fire the audience's imagination with strong descriptive language that helps to overcome the visual limitations of the stage. Henry V is unusual in employing a narrator-like Chorus, who introduces each act by supplying us with undramatized narrative details and/or setting the scene for what we are about to see.

    • Word count: 1435
  3. Using the following extracts as a starting point, discuss the ways in which Shakespeare establishes Henry's status at various points, through a range of other characters, during the play.

    During this extract personification is used to show the audience how Henry has become a more mature leader now that he is high status. Canterbury uses personification such as 'But his wildness, mortified in him/seemed to die too' (line 26-27) to stress how quickly Henry has matured since his fathers death, gaining the respect of his people and the audience increasing their understanding that Henry is a serious leader. The verb mortified has been used in a past participle form to stress Henry's feelings of shame that his father did not see his regal qualities emerge, conveying to the audience that even with his high status he is still a person, who just wants his father to be proud.

    • Word count: 1901
  4. Shakespeare's Henry V: More Pageant than Play?

    Shakespeare also made some references to an anonymous play dating from 1594, The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth. However it is understood that this play was so poor that Shakespeare went to an earlier better version which was the inspiration for the Famous Victories of Henry V. It has been claimed that some incidents in Henry V can be traced to other specific sources, but it is more likely that Shakespeare had absorbed the ideas from his own wide reading rather than embarking in such thorough research for this play. We know this because of the source material which has been recorded by Shakespeare.

    • Word count: 1992
  5. How does Shakespeare present King Henry to his audience?

    The reminder of Henrys untoward behaviour in the past brings a sense of realism to the character and creates a more realistic character within Henry. Ely and Canterbury rave of Henrys qualities to each other. They speak of his intelligence and competence but also of his generosity and affection. These two factors on Henrys character of found throughout the play. A good example of this can be found in Act II Scene II, when Henry orders the release of a drunkard who was arrested for shouting abuse at him in the streets.

    • Word count: 1387
  6. Henry V Act 4 Scene 3.

    He somehow tries to justify the carnage and mass-slaughter that is about to take place and speaks of the ultimate honour of dying in battle. The scene begins when Lord Gloucester asks the other Lord's where the King is and Lord Bedford tells him that he has gone to view the enemy's army. They then talk about how terribly outnumbered they are (30,000 to 7,000) and Lord Westmorland wishes that they had some of the men that were not present, but safe in England.

    • Word count: 1000
  7. Henry V - differences between young and old.

    At the outset, we see Bolingbroke as a sick and tired man, who plans to embark on crusade as an act of contrition for his role in the murder of Richard II. Bolingbroke appears to be convinced in his presence as "a robe pontifical", and thus will never admit to being anything less than great. The characters of Falstaff and Bolingbroke at first seem to be diametrically opposed opposites in terms of personality, yet they share many common traits. Falstaff, the "abominable misleader of youth", is a thief and admits to being a robber of purses.

    • Word count: 1715
  8. Shakespeare's, Henry V, was written in the late sixteenth century.

    In Henry V the Church funded Henry's war with France, this was commonplace in both Henry and Shakespeare's era. The church was very powerful and very rich, and the only people above them were the king or queen and God. People of those eras also believed in the Chain of Being, this was an imaginary chain, the King being at the top followed by the Church, lords and nobles; down to lowly peasants, to plants and even stones. At the beginning of the play the Bishop reminds Ely that Henry was once wild and offensive, "The breath no sooner left his fathers body but that his wildness, mortified in him seemed to die too: yea, at that very moment consideration, like an angel came and whipped the offending Adam out of him."

    • Word count: 1839
  9.  Comparisons and differences between, Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh in their films of Shakespeare’s Henry V.

    "In spite of the reforming enthusiasm and experience of many members of prime minister Clement Attlee's cabinet, however, this was still an era of austerity, as the devastating economic impact of the war became evident." BBC HISTORY SITE Henry V was his first attempt at film directing and it won him an Academy award in 1946. The Second World War interrupted his acting career and he went to work for the British government to promote the sale of war bonds and bolster public support for the war.

    • Word count: 1052
  10. 'Forster's vision is essentially a nostalgic one, hankering hopelessly after a romantic version of the English rural past' Is this a fair comment?

    Wilcox asks Margaret to help her with her Christmas shopping. When the two are out Ruth seems to be lost in the vulgarity of the commercial world. London is described as a 'clot of gray' with Ruth complaining about the loudness referring to it as a 'din'. The conversation moves on and Mrs. Wilcox picks out Margaret talking about her 'new house'. They then speak about Howards End, and Ruth tells Margaret about how it was nearly 'pulled down'. Ruth says this would have 'killed me'. Margaret is invited to visit and too casually she accepts for another day.

    • Word count: 1020
  11. Discuss the Function of the Chorus in Henry V and how its idealised views of Warfare are portrayed

    They are building up the audience's expectations of this to be a mighty, glorious play. The use of the imagery of flames and fire repeats itself throughout the Chorus's scenes. "O for a muse of fire" is the very first line, which immediately conjures up a grand image. Flames represent war, but are also a typical representation of courage and bravery. When the Chorus says, "the youth of England are on fire," it imposes upon the audience the idea of keen anticipation and excited preparations for the war.

    • Word count: 1712
  12. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Hal and Falstaff in the tavern in Act II Scene IV

    There is a lot of humour in this scene, with Hal always joking. This could be to get away from the reality of being the next king. We can tell that both Hal and Falstaff live in a fantasy world by the way in which things are always multiplying, such as Falstaff's lies when Hal asks him why he ran away from the robbery. "Oh Monstrous, eleven buckram men grown out of two" Here, the word 'grown' suggests multiplication in a fantasy world, where nothing really matters and Hal and Falstaff especially just lie all the time.

    • Word count: 1974
  13. Does Shakespeare successfully present Henry V as a hero to his audience?

    Canterbury believes this because as a youth, "His companies unlettered, rude and shallow, His hours filled up with riots, banquets, sports, And never noted him any study." As Henry grows older though, "never was such a sudden scholar made." Henry changes because he knew he had to. That takes determination and courage. No matter what anyone said he followed it through and did what he had to do. In the very first scene of the play Henry is already being talked about before we have even met him.

    • Word count: 1899
  14. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Henry IV, Part One, (1596)'Hotspur's weaknesses of character outweigh his virtues.' Discuss.

    He does not like the arts he considers them perhaps below him or for weaker individuals; "I had rather hear Lady my brach howl in Irish." He does claim to despise 'mincing poetry', however, he is able to describe things e.g., battle scenes extremely imaginatively Hotspur is an impatient, excitable, but most of all courageous man who strives for honour. In fact, most of Hotspur's time is spent thinking about honour; "Send danger from the east unto the west, So honour cross it from the north to south, And let them grapple."

    • Word count: 1295
  15. "The central thrust of the Red Badge of Courage is directed towards the puncturing of Henry Fleming's youthful range of illusions."

    In choosing statement one to be the truer of the two I have come to the conclusion that the narrator is being used as a figure who mocks Henry's egotism and self deception on one hand then shows sympathy on the other. Stephen Crane uses the narrator to tell the story from a third party point of view and therefore can use this to get his points across. This use of third parties belies Crane's own experiences of death and mutilation both in his private life with the death of his siblings and in the stories, pictures and photographs he has seen whilst researching the book.

    • Word count: 1882
  16. Shakespeare - How do the Falstaff scenes relate to the main plot?

    This is evident in Act II Scene 4, where Falstaff could be played as if he were leading Hal and Poins with his lies, that are 'gross as a mountain, open, palpable', while all the time sharing the joke with the audience. * Dramatically Falstaff's world of idleness, dishonesty, self-indulgence and irresponsibility is in direct contrast to the honour and nobility that Prince Hal finally achieves. By integrating him so completely into the interrogation, Shakespeare ensures that the audience is continually provided with an alternative perspective to the serious themes.

    • Word count: 1620
  17. How ill white hairs become a fool and jester”-Do you consider this an adequate response to the character Falstaff as portrayed in Henry IV (ii)

    This is one of Falstaff's qualities that I will discuss later. Falstaff's idea that he is a jester persuades him that he amuses the Prince whereas this is not the case. The Prince does not like him much and does not find him amusing, only tolerating him until he is king when he will discard Falstaff. Falstaff throughout the play refuses to act his age and often refers to the fact that he considers himself ageless. This is shown when he says "My Lord, I was born about three of the clock in the afternoon, with a white head, and something a round belly".

    • Word count: 1774
  18. In What Ways an To What Extent Does Act 1 Scene 4 Present the Audience With a Satisfactory Resolution To the Play?

    He speaks very highly of Hotspur and describes his as 'a son who is the theme of honours tongue'. However he speaks quite differently about Hal. 'See not and dishonour stain the brow of my young Harry'. Henry sees Hal as a burden on his shoulders or a punishment from god, Henry actually says that he wished Hal and Hotspur had been exchanged at birth. 'Of my young Harry. O that it could be prov'd That some night -tripping fairy had exchang'd In cradle-clothes our children where they lay.' (Act 1 scene 1:85-86). The first impression we get of Hal is of dishonour, from Henry in act 1 scene 1.

    • Word count: 1440
  19. How does Shakespeare make compelling Drama from the relationship between Falstaff and Hal?

    from Hal's first description of him "Thou art so fat-witted with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon". This tells the audience how lazy Falstaff is and in this little description of Falstaff, Hal mocks Falstaff quite a bit about his ways of living. This can cause some comedy for the audience and I would imagine that Falstaff's pace of his speech and movement would be quite uneven for this scene, this is because at some points in his speech he is fairly calm and then at some other points he gets quite angry and irritated.

    • Word count: 1427
  20. Henry V - Compare the relationship between Hal and Falstaff in two different scenes

    At first the relationship between Hal and Falstaff is based a lot on their joking around. Hal teases Falstaff about his weight and drinking problems. At the very beginning of this scene, in the Prince's first speech, Falstaff has only asked the time and Hal is already putting him down, the Prince says to Falstaff, "Thou art so fat-witted with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper...." Here he is saying that because Falstaff dinks so much alcohol, he has become obese and that because he eats so much at supper time, Falstaff has to unbutton his trousers just so he can fit his stomach in.

    • Word count: 1326
  21. Discuss how Shakespeare creates comedy in “The Merry Wives Of Windsor” in the scenes we have studied. Take into consideration the use of language and dramatic devices and structures and how these create comic effect.

    This affirms romantic love as a kind of social assimilator, transcending class and enabling individuals to create new and inclusive social categories around their romantic relationships. The main plot surrounds the playful but virtuous behaviour of the title characters, Mistresses Page and Ford, who are married to two prosperous men of Windsor. Their main point is that wives can be merry and faithful at the same time; this is that they can lead boisterous, vivid lives without betraying their duties to their husbands.

    • Word count: 1729
  22. The Narrative Code of “Goodfellas”

    are made behind each others backs, which indicates mistrust between the characters and the no one can be trusted, not even your soul friends. Code of action and change: Plot: The plot is told in the narrative of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) - an Irish Sicilian boy who dreams of becoming a wise guy. Since he was a teenager he had a part time job within the local cab firm to be a messenger boy for the local mobsters within his area.

    • Word count: 1735
  23. With close reference to Shakespeare’s language discuss how the characters of the Prince of Wales and Hotspur are portrayed in Henry IV Part 1

    We get the feeling that Harry is seen as the black sheep of the family and not the successor to the throne that the king desired. Shakespeare give us this impression by not including Prince Hal in the very important meeting that took place in Act one, scene one. The king even goes as far as suggesting "that some night-tripping fairy had exchanged in cradle clothes our children where they lie". This statement backs up the idea that the king is jealous of Hotspur.

    • Word count: 1886
  24. In Henry IV Part One, first impressions are never correct. By the end of the play, we have been forced to re-assess our feelings about the main characters. Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.

    The King would rather have Percy (Hotspur) as his son than Hal. He sees Hotspur as a worthier heir to the throne-Henry believes they were swapped as babies by 'some night-tripping fairy'. I feel this is quite heartless towards his own son, as he obviously shows no compassion for him. Hal would never have had to contemplate being heir to the throne if Henry hadn't made an unlawful path to the throne so it is expected that Hal would not be the 'perfect heir'.

    • Word count: 1046
  25. With detailed reference to their words and actions, consider whom you find the more attractive character – Hal or Hotspur

    By this Hal means that when he decides to throw off Falstaff and Poins and become a righteous Prince, it will be a shock to people and he will look like a much better person. Another strong quality that Hal's soliloquy shows us he has is that he has a plan to his life and he knows what he is going to do and when he is going to do it. This is shown by Hal's statement of how he is going to be "Redeeming time when men think least I will" and also by the level of planning that has gone into his soliloquy.

    • Word count: 1465

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Henry V - Compare the relationship between Hal and Falstaff in two different scenes

    "In these two scenes we have seen different sides to both Hal and Falstaff. The locations and events happening in each scene were also different so caused different sides of people to show through. The relationship between Hal and Falstaff also changes quite a lot. As Hal changes to fit in with what he needs to be, Falstaff doesn't change. Even though their relationship is never totally destroyed, they could never go back to being as they were at the beginning of the play. Hal has always been greatly superior to Falstaff but Hal has always treated him as a friend. However now, it is hard for them to go back being as they were because Hal realises his position and has to keep up the expectations of the public and his family."

  • In the tradition of aesthetics, Oscar Wilde said, “There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book” to what extent is ‘The picture of Dorian Gray’ an immoral book?

    "In conclusion the essay. I think this book is not immoral, a lot of the characters are immoral especially Lord Henry. But different people have different views on what's moral or immoral. Oscar Wilde has written a book that shows what happens if you live your life in certain ways like taking drugs but it is not teaching us to do these things, he merrily wrote a book for the sake of writing a book. Steve Hounsell Henry gave Dorian a book; this is also affecting the picture as Dorian is living through the book. Dorian does not live his own life and he is dissatisfied with his new life."

  • Compare and contrast Hal and Hotspur. Note their similarities and differences.

    "To conclude, at the start of the play, I would have deemed Hal to be a most unsuitable King, and Hotspur as one to whom the title would be most suited. However, during the course of the play, Shakespeare constructs a complex character development for both Hal and Hotspur. At the end of the play, after Hal's triumphant reformation, I would argue that he is by far a more appropriate leader. He possesses all the necessary qualities, diplomacy, courage and honour to name but a few. Hotspur is impulsive, albeit brave, undiplomatic and tactless. To have Hal fighting with him instead of in opposition to him only strengthens Henry's position regarding his previously uncertain title to the throne."

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.