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Henry V is commonly held to be a great English hero, a model king and/or a symbol of much that is good about England, in which ways do you think that Shakespeare’s play supports and challenges this view? What is your own opinion of Henry?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

English Shakespeare Coursework Henry V Henry V is commonly held to be a great English hero, a model king and/or a symbol of much that is good about England, in which ways do you think that Shakespeare's play supports and challenges this view? What is your own opinion of Henry? In the play, Henry is portrayed from the start as being a young and unimpressionable King; His youth is showed by the way he makes rash decisions, before thinking them through completely. He is very headstrong and wants the best for his country. Henry has many good points, which reflect his personality. He is very inspirational, he has confidence and that confidence shows in his long and illustrious speeches, he has a great emphatic persona, and he is always keen to encourage his men, and he leads by example, always first into battle, on his huge horse. What he is trying to do is prove to his men that the impossible can seem possible if you try. He is a man of action; once he has committed to fight he will not retreat until dead or defeated. He does not bend the truth and goes strait to the point in hand, rather than avoiding the issue, this could be a reason why

Middle

As a child and youth, Henry was very rebellious and was not thought to be able to take the stress and privileges of kingship. But once he was crowned, he seemed to mature over night as it were. He has proved his maturity by executing his childhood companion. He is completely devoted to his job and to his god. Henry is also very mercifull, and he does not insisit that the drunken man should be hung, and he excuses him. This can be seen as a good point but also as a weakness. At Harfluer, he uses some of his greatest charictoristics and rallys his men, and convinces them to fight with increased brutality and flare, making sure that the battle will eventually be won by the noble English. Continuing from this point however, he is very particular that his men fight with honour, and not rob and rape the towns that battles are fought near, this proves that he is a very noble king and is worthy of his throne. On the eve of battle, Henry walks between the ranks of his men, showing his familiarity and his ability to be involved with his men, to me, this would suggest that he wants the soldiers to understand that he is a king,

Conclusion

The answer, no one can answer, as there is no opportunity to pass judgement on this from the play it is merely assumption. Henry is sometimes incredibly considerate ( the drunk), but treats the traitors with little remorse, and even less remorse is shown to his childhood companion, which can be put down to both indecisiveness and his maturing nature. As the traitors are bought into light, u have to consider that when it says the whole nation is behind him, the traitors completely undermine this, and u have to look back and see that the nobles have been manipulating the king. Henry might have been considered a little brutal to the governor, by issuing very graphic and horrific threats, that any person in the governors position, would have had to consider the threat very carefully. Also, continuing on the remorseless theme, he showns no remorse or regret after bardolf's execution. When the battle has been fought, Henry seems to place the blame of all the soldiers deaths upon himself. This could possibly mean that he shows too much self pity in recognising the tough responsibilities if kingship. IN my opinion, I think Henry is a good king, with a good idea of how to treat people, he has a few bad points, but then again so does everyone.

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