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

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.

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Henry V section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Henry V essays

  1. Comparison of Olivier (1944) and Branagh's (1989) screen adaptations of Henry V

    is congruently shown as the ironical camera pause where no movement or technique is carried out. In emulation, Branagh makes minimal changes here possibly due to the incantation, which Shakespeare and Olivier had set and created in such a shot, which cannot be yet bettered.

  2. In the tradition of aesthetics, Oscar Wilde said, “There is no such thing as ...

    When she acts for Basil, Lord Henry and Dorian, she acts badly because acting is no longer important to her, Dorian is more important to her than her acting carer. "Dorian she cried before I knew you, acting was the one reality of my life...".

  1. Discuss the dramatic purposes of the chorus speeches in Henry V

    The chorus once again apologises for the lack of space as it cannot show fields of soldiers getting ready for battle. The chorus in act 5 relates that King Henry has returned to the port city of Calais in France and, from there, has sailed back to England.

  2. Using the following extracts as a starting point, discuss the ways in which Shakespeare ...

    comparing Henry's growth in maturity to how a 'strawberry grows underneath the nettle'. The repetition of this view implies that Henry's maturity as a high status leader is one of his best traits.

  1. Media Comparative Essay: Concerning the 2 well known film versions of Shakespeare's Henry V ...

    The exposure of anxiety in the scene is supported by the non-visual variation of a delicate accompaniment of music, which tone aptly describes the picture of readying and preparation. In effect this complements the pre-scene shot of motion and armament by background foot soldiers.

  2. How does Shakespeare present King Henry to his audience?

    Shakespeare shows that Henry is both realistic and idealistic in his many traits Within these brave and respectable traits lines another factor to Henry that has not yet been explored. His modesty and honest nature can be seen throughout the play.

  1. Explore how Shakespeare creates humour for the audience in the scenes in which the ...

    Ford describes the woman before she comes on stage as "A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean", and as Mistress Page introduces "Mother Pratt", Ford's reaction to her is "I'll pratt her". This is an angry response by Ford, using play on words.

  2. Shakespeare's, Henry V, was written in the late sixteenth century.

    when he tries to woo Catherine nearer the end of the play. This however, could be seeing as trying to undermine Henry's character, by having him quite brave and ruthless during the beginning and middle of the play, yet rather pathetic in the love scenes at the end.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work