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

Henry V Assignment

Extracts from this document...


HENRY V ASSIGNMENT Henry V is an impressive piece of literature, which can be read in its entirety to oneself. However, if the full dramatic effectiveness is to be appreciated, it must be seen in its true context as a performance on stage. At the time Henry V was written, theatre played an important part in people's lives. It was a way of life, and people of all social levels went to see plays by their favourite playwright. Theatres in Elizabethan times took on a conventional style. They are described the Chorus in Henry V as a 'wooden O' as they were indeed wooden and ring shaped. At a performance in an Elizabethan theatre the place where you stood depended on your social level. Lower-class people or 'groundlings' as they would be called, stood on the ground, surrounding the stage. Here you would not only find people standing to watch the performance, but you would also find family pets and entertainers like Jugglers and Fire Eaters and the richer patrons of the theatre sat in the outer ring. In Henry V there are many scenes, which cannot be acted out on stage effectively. These are mainly the battle scenes, which would involve large armies of men in real life. Shakespeare managed to overcome this problem and keep his audience entertained. The chorus is the first person in the play to speak. He asks the audience "On your imaginary forces work." He makes excuses that the stage they are acting on cannot be the same as the battlefields that these events actually took place on "Can this cock-pit hold the vasty fields of France?" ...read more.


So therefore we did not learn whether Henry is a good Christian king from the French but we did learn that he is powerful and not so weak as to be rejected as an easy victory. There is another instance where the two countries meet. The Dauphin meets with him earlier in the play and then reports back to King Charles. He tells the king HENRY IS "THE MIRROR OF ALL CHRISTIAN KINGS," HOW DOES SHAKESPEARE BUILD UP HIS CHARACTER TO SUGGEST THIS AND WHY? that England is ruled by a "vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth." and that because of this, they have no fear of going to war. King Charles then tells his princes and knights to beware of Henry, because he doesn't want France to live its past history again. "And he is bred out of that bloody strain that haunted us in our familiar paths. Witness our too-much memorable shame when Cr�cy battle fatally struck," King Charles, Act 2, Scene 4, Lines 51-54. The person who I felt told us the most about Henry's character was Henry himself. One of the first serious actions we see him take is against the three traitors, Richard, Earl of Cambridge, Henry, Lord Scrope of Masham and Thomas Grey, Knight of Northumberland. Their plan was to kill Henry at Southampton before he departed for France. Henry caught wind of this but didn't straight away order them to be executed for high treason. We see Henry tell the three traitors that a man had been arrested for shouting abuse at him whilst drunk, he then asks them what they think the punishment should be. ...read more.


His speech is enough to make any reader feel patriotic, as it did me and shows that he is a good king, who does not always think of himself as a king. So Shakespeare creates an almost perfect character in this play. Henry is, calm under pressure and doesn't always regard himself as above all the rest. He can be aggressive when needed but always thinks before he is. He is also certain that he is just a human being, not a God like person who is greater than everyone else, and this shows when he is going in to battle with his soldiers. It is then when his true character comes out, a patriotic person with spirit for his friends. Although Shakespeare has made an almost perfect character, he couldn't have made Henry so perfect that he wasn't realistic. Therefore Shakespeare makes Henry have a few weaknesses, one of these weaknesses is when Bardolph, an old friend of Henry steals a pax from a church. Henry has to stand up to his power as a King and hangs Bardolph for his crime. Henry is the "The Mirror of all Christian kings"; I would find this a true statement. He is a King who should be looked up to and respected for his good qualities. He should also be respected even for his bad qualities, because everyone has a flaw but it doesn't mean that they are a bad person. Whilst he is a good Christian King, he is also a good Christian person. He is kind, forgiving and calm under pressure and when needed. ...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. What kind of king does Shakespeare create in Act 3 Scenes 1 and 2? ...

    pleasure - seeking teenage prince who wrestles with his role as heir to the throne: "...as for proof now, a purse of Gold most resolutely snatched on Monday night, and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing 'lay by!', and spent with crying 'bring in!'", here Shakespeare illustrates Hal as a thieving, rebellious and undesirable youth.

  2. Why did Charles V fail to crush Luther?

    The lack attention Charles gave to Germany meant that he underestimated the full threat of the spread of Lutheranism and acted rather leniently on Luther compared to what he should have. Charles V lacked the political and financial resources to wage war against the protestants, instead he agreed to a

  1. Henry V Character Analysis

    Hence the previous contrast outlines the superficiality of the French nobility who clearly underestimate Henry and his men. The Constable claims his certainty that "when he shall see our army/ He'll drop his heart into the sink of fear/ And for achievement offer us his ransom."

  2. Shakespeare's Henry V

    For a king with such loyal men (excluding the odd few), Henry would never know what opinions they conceive about him, however, the fact that one of his best friends planned to kill him in a conspiracy might have given him some feedback.

  1. Crime Scene InvestigationJames Bulger Assignment

    would be called. They would check the scene is safe to enter (in case of chemical leak etc). The secure the scene, prevent disturbances or anybody tampering with vital evidence. Limit the number of people entering the scene and re-assure the victim.

  2. How do the poets in 'Charlotte O'Neils song' and 'Nothing Changed' show their feelings ...

    The poet shows his anger through the comparison of the cafe which the ordinary working class African has to eat in, and the posh restaurant available to those with money. Notice that both poets use contrast to convey some of their meaning.

  1. How does Shakespeare present the Character of King Henry V in act 2, scene ...

    Shakespeare also shows Henry as being a fair king by literally letting the traitors decide their own fate. He uses the convicted person's situation and asks for the traitors' advice on what should be done, 'Enlarge the man committed yesterday, That railed against our royal person'.

  2. Was Henry V the ideal medieval, Christian king? This is the statement that has ...

    It is clear from the above that Ely and Canterbury thought there king truly was a perfect Christian and Henry clearly had their backing, this was very good for Henry as it was important as a king to get the churches approval as religion played a large role in medieval England.

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