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

Henry V, Act III,.1

Extracts from this document...


Henry V Henry V, Act III,.1 King Henry has rejected a deal with the French and Harfleur is being besieged, in the background to this opening scene. After all Henry's warnings about the horrors of war in Act 1.2., the explosions and trumpet call implied by the stage direction 'Alarum, and chambers go off' must have made the audience jump. Particularly as the chorus had asked it to imagine all these things, 'eke out our performance with your mind,'(III.35) rather than expect them in reality. 'And down goes all before them' (III.34) suggests a breach has been made in the defensive wall of Harfleur and Henry must rally his retreating forces. ...read more.


All these events, Henry's speech implies, must be willed. Yet there is a further more puzzling point through the use of the verbs, 'imitate' and 'disguise.'(III.6-8) These suggest that it is not simply a matter of calling up their war-like emotions, the soldiers must pretend to be what they are not. They must 'act' the part. 'Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide,' sounds like the director of a play telling his actors how to perform. Therefore his 'great speech' is not, as it is often taken to be, simply the inspiring call to action of a great soldier, but an elaborate rhetorical device. ...read more.


but brings their social divisions together in the unifying 'nobility' of battle: 'There is none of you so mean and base/That hath not noble lustre in your eyes. The final simile confirms their unity: 'I see you stand like greyhounds' (31) but ends on a curious image. The tone of the rest of the speech has been one of heroic endeavour, the similes comparing the men favourably to siege weapons 'like the brass cannon' and their fathers to classical heroes 'like so many Alexanders.' Yet the image of a dog has been used in many instances, as an insult 'coward dogs.' (II.4.69) Placed at the end of the heroic Harfleur speech, the dog image therefore gives it a strange twist and perhaps a moral uncertainty, which is compounded by the behaviour of the low-life characters in the next act. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Henry V essays

  1. Henry V Speech Analysis

    and with this he releases their blood lust. How yet resolves the Governor of the town ? After Henry's soldiers had taken the outer wall of Harfleur he decided that he would convince the governor of the town to surrender. He begins in a forceful yet merciful tone designed to startle the governor.

  2. How Helpful To The Audience Is The Chorus in Shakespeare's 'Henry V'

    The Chorus tries it's hardest to give Henry V the epic quality the people of the Tudors believed he deserved. The first appearance of this is in the prologue where "...Harry, like himself, assume the port of Mars," Mars being the Roman god of war; the Chorus explains the King

  1. Focusing on the traitor scene: Act II Scene II, How does Shakespeare portray Henry?

    Stories somehow just made sense, people however did not. I caught a whiff of sandalwood, or was that just the bookshelf? I propped myself on the ladder and gazed downwards. I didn't want to go to the bottom floor because then it would be easier for him to see me, and he would say things to me.

  2. How does Henry demonstrate his skills as an orator in his speeches at Farfleur ...

    He then moves on to explain how the should look when they are in battle. "lend the eye a terrible aspect: let it pry trough the portage of the head like the brass canon: let the brow overwhelm it". This is explaining to his men that they should look evil,

  1. Henry V in Act 1 and 2

    In Act I Scene ii Henry says in response to the French Ambassador "We are no tyrant but a Christian king," this sentence

  2. Consider the different ways in which war is presented in Henry V.

    Another connection to be made between war and King Henry is the unity that goes with being a good king and fighting well in war. Before going into battle, Henry inspires his men to fight well by making an immensely powerful speech, in which he refers to him men as brothers.

  1. How does Shakespeare use language to entertain and motivate in Act 3, scene 1 ...

    Branaugh wanted to make a true version of Shakespeare's play showing all the gory details. He said "There would be no question about the statement this movie was making about war." The chorus of Act 3 has roused our imagination and excitement levels.

  2. An Exploration of Shakespeare(TM)s Presentation of the King in Henry V(TM).

    'We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.' The response made by Henry here, is shown to be sarcastically relaxed towards the offensive gesture which would have infuriated the 'younger' Henry. Hence, this demonstrates the contrast between what Henry was before and what he is now like as a King.

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