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The Subplot: Consider the significance of the subplot and examine Shakespeare's dramatic use of it to illuminate and contrast with the main story line.

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The Subplot: Consider the significance of the subplot and examine Shakespeare's dramatic use of it to illuminate and contrast with the main story line. Shakespeare uses the subplot in many ways; it both accents the main story line and reminds the audience of Henry's tainted past. The subplot helps to dramatise the play through contrasting moods and movement from one view point to another, therefore this the play can be seen on many levels. This also helps to give a rounded view of events, and through comedy, acts as a form of light relief from the tension that the main plot provides, and also gives the audience a better insight into the characters and what public view is on events. This gives his character's depth and believability because they are seen from different perspectives. Through the subplot Shakespeare has also found a vehicle to show the story line in a simple way, and it gives everyone a character that they can relate to. This means that the plays are more attractive and therefore appeal to a wider audience. The subplot helps Shakespeare to put across his message on many levels, while developing the characters and increasing the audience's comprehension of the play. ...read more.


At war they are also hesitant when it comes to going into battle, Nym is the first in Scene Three Act Two. He is particularly ungallant and this in contrast to Henry's courageous speech shows both the reality of war as the looters are part of the process of war, and that these men are cowards and this in comparison magnifies the image of Henry V as a good and virtuous King. "Pray thee, Corporal, stay - the knocks are too hot," (III. II, Nym) This in contrast to the king's actions, makes Henry seem brave and courageous, and helps to prove him as a reformed character, as opposed to the character that is presented of him in Henry IV part One and Two, where he is a man who fraternises with Falstaff, Bardolf, Pistol and Nym who are presented as a low life, drunkard, and cowardly. The sub plot exhibits this through the Dauphin and his criticism of Henry as an immature King who they should expect very little from. These characters help to epitomise Henry as a new man and helps the audience to remove the negative image of Henry's past. ...read more.


The sub plot is significant because it provides another layer to the play and creates a new level on which the audience can view the characters. Not only does it assist the portrayal of well developed and rounded characters, it gives the common a character that they can relate to as a soldier and a man who is ruled over, this helps to make the audience appreciate the play as the more involved they are in the plot the more they will be able to appreciate the complex story line and themes throughout the play. The Sub plot characters are those that featured in Henrys past, not only does this give the play a link to Henry IV part one and part two, it gives the audience a reminder of Henry's tainted past. This provides a contrast for Henry's change in character between the past and the present, this highlights the way that he is now a new person and has now got totally new ideals. The sub plot also illuminates the reality of war and the earnest and sombre undertone provided and the way that all the boys were killed. The sub plot is used to accent the main plot in many ways both in contrast and support. ...read more.

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