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

'For the king has in him two bodies...a body natural and a body politic..' Discuss the presentation of the different sides of Henry's character in Henry V.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'For the king has in him two bodies...a body natural and a body politic..' Discuss the presentation of the different sides of Henry's character in Henry V. Henry V is based during the 1500's. King Henry (the main character) has in him two sides...a natural side and a politic side. We know this because Henry is presented as having the qualities of an ideal king and as a character with a more vulnerable, human side. From having these personalities King Henry helps people run the country in a way hat he can make decisions on whether to invade a country or not. Because King Henry is a good politician and a good friend, he can use these for contributing to being an ideal King. Henry V must have been written some time during 1599. We know this because the Act 5 chorus makes a reference to the Earl of Essex's anticipated return from Ireland (lines 29-34), and Essex left England in March and returned in September. A King in Henry V's time was supreme. He was a military commander, a religious and spiritual leader, political decision-maker and a lawgiver. The kings had to have these skills in all areas to be an ideal ruler. I think that Shakespeare has chosen to portray Henry in such a favourable way as he managed to conquer France at such a young age that it must be remembered by all of England. ...read more.

Middle

He did this because it allows the audience and his subjects to identify him. We have proof of this shown throughout the play. Like everyone else, Henry has a relationship. In this case, with two people; Williams and Fluellen, who are different as they are in the lower class. Henry puts aside this fact, and shows us that he can be like anybody else. Another point of when Henry is being shown as a man is when he disguises himself so he can hear what the soldiers think will happen. The discussion is between Henry and Bates. They are talking about their likely fate in the coming battle. Henry makes the point that the King experiences the same emotions as ordinary men, including fear. An example of Henry saying this is "No; nor it is not meet he should. For, though I speak it to you, I think the King is but a man, as I am." This quotation is showing that the King wants others to see he is just like them and should not be judged badly. Before the Battle of Agincourt, Henry thinks about the burden of responsibility and that him being a King, distinguishes the difference from an ordinary man. Also, Kings have so many cares that they are unable to enjoy a peaceful nights sleep. ...read more.

Conclusion

By using 'We' repeatedly, the men think that everyone is worth the same. This is another way in which we can see Henry is a great king. The way in which we see Henry being a great man could be his honest conversation with Williams. Replying to the argument of Williams, Henry argues that a king cannot be held responsible for the souls of those soldiers who die without having represented their sins. Henry says this in true honesty from what he is thinking. He says "the king is not bound to answer the particular endings of his soldiers, the farther of his son, nor the master of his servant, for they purpose not their deaths, when they purpose their services." Henry says this in a very clever way as he manages to persuade the three men that every man is responsible for his own soul. This also shows Henry's persuasive skills, which can also contribute to our under-standing or his human character. In conclusion, Henry having a body politic and a body natural both contribute into making a better king. Shakespeare had written the play, in words that clearly show the two sides of Henry and how well he uses them. Henry V was an ideal king for Shakespeare to use in front of his audience. It is very important that we see the two sides of Henry because this way, it helps people to understand his character more. Mark Binding 11B ...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 British History: Monarchy & Politics 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 British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. How does Shakespeare present the character of Henry V

    117 when giving his orders to Exeter of what to do with Harfleur. A good King should be able to converse with and understand the will of the common man and others and Henry shows this talent well in Act Four Scene One.

  2. What kind of king does Shakespeare create in Act 3 Scenes 1 and 2? ...

    In this line Shakespeare uses a metaphor of the tiger, and portrays Henry as noble and loyal. Although Shakespeare depicts Henry as majestic and inspiring, he is careful not to glorify war and also reflects the harsh realities of war; "Then lend the eye a terrible aspect, let it pry

  1. Henry V Character Analysis

    by the bishops, in the post-medieval society of King Henry V to go to war for even the smallest of territorial gains which would offer the kingdom greater influence was a perfectly justified motive. Nonetheless, before going to war, even Henry acknowledges the consequences of waging war against the French

  2. Henry V is presented as a strong and capable King. Is this an ...

    Cambridge, Scroop and Grey are to be in charge of the affairs of state while Henry is in France. When Henry hands documents to them they presume it is to give them authority, however the documents indicated that the King knows their guilt as traitors.

  1. Shakespeare's Henry V

    No more are we an audience, but a witness. Shakespeare portrays Henry as a very religious king; whether this is to promote Henry or to express his own opinions as to what principles a King should have, especially whilst Henry VIII was on the thrown at that time, and the

  2. Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of women in Richard III. Are they convincing characters?

    Margaret also brings in imagery from the theatre- ' A queen in jest, only to fill the scene'- implying that she has only been acting queen as is she were on stage. The next part of her speech is full of rhetorical techniques, using especially rhetorical questions, which dramatise her speech.

  1. Shakespeare Portrays Henry V as the Model Monarch

    The constable of France disagrees and warns him not to underestimate the English King; we get the impression that the members of the French court do not like the Dauphin. Exeter, as ambassador, delivers Henry's demand for the French crown.

  2. Wives & War: To what extent did these two aspects undermine Henry VIIIs rule ...

    As Henry never ?painfully? forgotten his father?s passage to kingship and the chance of his enemies (Yorkist supporters) renewing the conflict, is evidently shown by his security dependency on the life of this sole male child (Wodding 2009, pg 1).

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