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

How does Henry's use of language reflect his position in Act IV, Scene 1, lines 203-257?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Henry's use of language reflect his position in Act IV, Scene 1, lines 203-257? This extract comes at the lowest part of Shakespeare's play 'Henry V' with the dramatist reflecting on the main character's positions, as a King and as a human being. At this point in the plot the English army are 'but a weak and sickly guard' (according to Henry himself in act 3 scene 7), desolate in enemy territory with great certainty that their campaign against the French has come to an end. This causes Henry to become introspective, analysing himself as a leader and conveying to the audience his complex positions during this troubling time through a range of linguistic features used in the soliloquy. Throughout the soliloquy Shakespeare uses repetition to emphasise the demands of Henry's kingly responsibilities. Through his conflicting impulses he repeats words to make sense of his troubling emotions. The repetition of the familiar possessive pronoun 'our' can be found at the start of this extract were Henry paraphrases what is said by the soldiers, Bates and Williams, earlier in the scene, 'Let us our lives, our souls, our debts our careful wives, our children and our sins, lay on the king!'(line 203-204). ...read more.

Middle

Therefore with characteristics of both a king, as seen in earlier scenes of the play, and as human Henry's position is seen as balanced, a quality that is suggested to be had by great leaders. During the soliloquy the hyperbolic 'O' has been used to heighten the importance of what Henry is about to say capturing the audience's attention through it's long exaggerated sound. This artificial mode of address which is prominently employed by the Chorus is used by Shakespeare in Henry's soliloquy to build up its intensity making a powerful impact upon the audience. For example in the following quotation (line 206-208) the use of the hyperbolic 'O' starts a ladder effect of increasing syllables controlled through the mean of commas. This in turn signifies a building of emotions, or perhaps Henry's frustrations. 'O hard condition, twin-born with greatness, Subject to the breath of every fool, whose sense No more can feel but his own wringing.' Shakespeare has inventively put the comma after the words 'hard condition' which are subsequent to the powerful 'O' to emphasise Henry's demanding position at this crucial point of the play. In addition Shakespeare uses the compound adjective 'twin-born' to show the duality of Henry's position, as a great king and as a great human. ...read more.

Conclusion

In line 255 the 'wretched slave' is compared to a 'lackey' (line 245) connoting a pawn from that of a chess game, that can easily be taken. This simile suggests that Henry's public position is always being analysed, and if he doesn't maintain this position it is only a matter of time before he is taken by the pressure of his suppressed human emotions. This view of pawn also suggests the idea that his human characteristics are held hostage by his daily responsibilities as a dutiful monarch. Such as in light of recent events at Harfleur, Henry's remorse for the loss of life does not stand in the way of his royal rites of the French throne. Overall the dramatic purpose of act IV, scene 1, lines 203-257, reflects the debates of kingship, with Shakespeare's 'model of the ideal king' being portrayed through Henry's personal side which is seen for the first time by the audience. This in turn allows the audience to see Shakespeare's full characterisation of Henry showing his positions as a, Christian leader (), a statesman (), a judge (), a warrior (), and now as a human. Through the use of language features found in the major soliloquy the audience now can reflect on the '3D' position of Henry, as a king and as a human being. 1814 words (not incl. title) ...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. Crime Scene InvestigationJames Bulger Assignment

    Questions would have been asked by the FAO. Police Officers would have done searches for the lost child. Police also searched the Walton Canal as they had testimonial evidence that the three boys had been seen there. A FAO wouldn't be needed at this scene as it was only a search for the boy.

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

    At the beginning of Henry V in Act 1 Scene 1, Canterbury and Ely discuss the transformation in Henry's character following the death of his father: "The courses of his youth promised it not. The breath no sooner left his father's body but that his wildness mortified in him seemed to die too".

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

    She is saying that it isn't the natural way of the world at all. By leaving England she can start a new life abroad where she will be able to have a better standard of living. The poet has explained some of the background to this poem.

  2. In Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 259-298 and in Act 3 Scene 1, show ...

    He admits the 'barbarous licence' of his 'wilder days', his neglect and undervaluation of this 'poor seat of England', but he promises to be 'like a king' from now onwards and show a 'sail of greatness'.

  1. 'The Turn of the Screw'

    After the third sighting of Peter Quint, we begin to question the reliability of the governess as a narrator. This is because she seems to be increasingly exaggerative, her extreme reactions contrasting with Mrs. Grose's sensible ones. Also the fact that she is not sleeping well, coupled with her increasing paranoia makes us question her consistency.

  2. Analyse the ways in which Shakespeare dramatises his exploration of the idea of leadership ...

    These people came from different backgrounds and therefore had individual views on life. This is shown by their half-hearted arguments amongst each other. These were not serious arguments, but Henry made them respect each other and to work as a team.

  1. The changing position of women and the suffrage question. Revision notes

    established the intellectual argument for votes for women. * London and Manchester were the major suffragist centres and the year 1866 was a significant landmark in suffragist history. In that year some of the most notable feminist campaigners of the 19th century ? Barbara Bodichon, Emily Davies, Elizabeth Garret etc.

  2. The changing position of women and the suffrage question

    They wrote letters and formulated petitions, held mass-meetings, organised protest marches and targeted specific parliamentary candidates. These tactics proved to be particularly effective, especially the ?poster and placard? campaigns. The highly successful campaign saw the act repealed in 1886. Politics ? Women?s Suffrage Campaign After the 1867 Reform Act failed

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