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

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.

Extracts from this document...


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. Throughout the of the play, Henry V, Shakespeare establishes Henry's status through a range of other characters. This essay will focus on the linguistic features and the specific words used by these characters to achieve their view of Henry. In the first extract (Act I, scene I, line 22-37) the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely discuss Henry's status as a war mongering Christian king 'full of grace (Christian goodness) and fair regard' (line 22). Throughout this extract Canterbury uses highly loquacious language, which Shakespeare has characterised by using various types of imagery, elevating the importance of Henry's status to the audience. This incorporates the use of metaphor to establish Henry's status on 'commonwealth affairs' expressing his position on war to the audience. The metaphor 'List his discourse of war, and you shall hear/A fearful battle render'd you in music' (line 43-44) compares Henry's talk of war to a battle of music conveying Henry as a war-mongering king to the audience, stressed by the imperative mood of the command verb 'list'. The use of the second person pronoun 'you' effectively addresses Ely and the audience directly stressing Henry's status as a King of the people by using an imperative mood. ...read more.


The imperative mood of the adverb 'sudden' emphasises his immediate change of attitudes to his new high status kingly duties, establishing Henry as a swift decision maker showing his decisive status. Henry's status in the third extract (Act II, scene IV, line 48-64) is highly acclaimed by the King of France who warns that he is not to be taken lightly, as they do not want to return to their 'familiar paths'(battle of Crecy). The French King's frank and figurative speech praises Henry's qualities emphasising his powerful position. At the start of the extract the French King establishes Henry's power through the following example: 'Think we King Harry strong;/And, princes, look you so strongly arm to meet him' (line 48-49). Shakespeare does this by using command verbs such as 'look' and 'think' in an imperative tone to stress that Henry is a perfect 'strong' warrior. Shakespeare also uses a noun group, a common feature of literary texts, to convey Henry's superior status. The noun group 'strongly arm' connotes that the French Prince has equipped weapons on himself to meet Henry suggesting his concern for his welfare, and therefore conveying to the audience that Henry has a high superiority. Throughout this extract the French King compares Henry's qualities to that of his great ancestor King Edward, who defeated the French at the battle of Crecy. Shakespeare's use of metaphor to imply the similarities of Henry and Edwards qualities is conveyed through an extension of agriculture comparing the growth of a cultivated plant to the growth of Edward's power and therefore Henry's as well. ...read more.


Shakespeare stresses how heartless Henry is further more through the imperative mood of the proper noun 'King', emphasising that once he gained his royal duties he then became unfeeling. This unfeeling nature of Henry standing in the eyes of the audience explains that his high esteemed status is not as respected by his people as first thought, through Canterbury's speech. Nym and Hostess support this callous view of Henry further on in the play by describing how brutally the King has 'fractured' and 'killed' his heart. This in turn displays Henry as a normal person who does do wrong at some stages of his life. The phrase that follows 'that's the even of it' suggests that it is the truth that Henry is no more than a normal person like everyone else, he simply has higher status responsibilities but that doesn't make it acceptable for him to be callous. These three extracts combined with other various scenes of the play show Henry's differential status through various characters points of view. Overall the images of Henry's qualities convey him as a high status Christian monarch with resolute loyalty to his duties and responsibilities, often suppressing his feelings to uphold the law and therefore be a respected person by his people. Foregoing his relationship with Falstaff shows his heartless nature of his status but also conveys his power as he establishes that his country comes before his own feelings, a typical trait of a good leader. ...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

    Branagh on the terms of originality produces a near fully authentic scene. Obvious contrasts here involve the lack of a voice-over; the use of music and the constant motion of Henry round the set. The section begins with Henry walking and removing his cloak, an easy method to literally emphasize the return of identity to the king.

  2. The Subplot: Consider the significance of the subplot and examine Shakespeare's dramatic use of ...

    this contrasts with the main story line as most are willing to do as he says because it is the patriotic thing to do. The sub plot is an important factor in the play and therefore contributes vastly to the play as it creates another angle in the play and

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

    Although Dorian has treated Basil badly, he has stayed loyal and wants to help him. "mind you, I don't believe these rumours at all...." This shows Basils admiration and loyalty to Dorian. When Basil views the portrait he is horrified.

  2. Comparing Shakespeare's Henry V to Kenneth Branagh's 1989 Film.

    The French camp is described as "confident and over-lusty." They are gathered around at their camp playing dice, waiting anxiously for dawn to come and for the fighting to begin. At the English camp, the troops are not as confident as their enemy is.

  1. It is easy to see how Henry V can be seen as an inspirational ...

    This, for me, was the most interesting part of this passage. That is because it is something that everybody in the audience would have been able to relate to. Not everybody would have understood what it was like to be in war, but everyone would have understood what it was like to have a mom.

  2. Why do critics consider Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor to be inferior ...

    The merry wives have been pretending that he is about to return (in order to get Falstaff in the laundry basket), and are surprised when he actually does. The audience, however, is not, since they have heard Ford speak of his plans to trap Falstaff The first two incidents in

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

    We can perceive a variety of camera shots including Henry looking past the group with the open side of his face toward the audience. There are swift cuts between characters. When we do see Henry - Branagh has given his character the benefit of height compelling the audience to observe his silent dominance.

  2. Shakespeare's Henry V: More Pageant than Play?

    Shakespeare creates other sideline stories such as the death of Falstaff and then this story continues into the going into war of Falstaff's companions. Although Falstaff did have a significant role in the life of Henry V he and his friends and their story does not contribute much to the main storyline.

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