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'Shakespeare has not single attitude to war in this play' - Henry V - Discuss

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  • Essay length: 930 words
  • Submitted: 10/09/2003
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AS and A Level War Poetry

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'Shakespeare has not single attitude to war in this play' - Discuss

In Shakespeare's play, 'Henry V', war is presented in two ways, firstly it is presented as a very noble enterprise, but on the other side of things it is presented as a destructive and terrifying thing.

The first view that the play takes is the view that war is a very noble enterprise.

The chorus talks about how 'All the youth of England are on fire'

This shows how all of the young men are preparing for war as they gather their equipment and prepare mentally and physically for the war. This line shows how much they are eager to go to war. 'Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought/ reigns solely in the breast of every man.' This line shows that the armourers are getting the soldiers ready to fight and it also shows how the soldiers are proud to be going to war because they have 'honour in their breast'.

The picture that war is a very noble thing becomes clearer as the play infolds. The Chorus, again, talks of the 'brave fleet' and the 'silken streamers'

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