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

'Henry V constantly refuses to accept responsibility for his actions. He has yet to mature and shows no understanding about the true nature of kingship'. How far do you agree with this judgment of Henry?

Extracts from this document...


'Henry V constantly refuses to accept responsibility for his actions. He has yet to mature and shows no understanding about the true nature of kingship'. How far do you agree with this judgment of Henry? By the end of 'Henry V', Henry seems to be a transformed person. From a king who is being manipulated from all sides, he leads his country to win a seemingly impossible war against France. On the other hand, this does not mean that he is a model king because there are many instances in the play when he shows that his real character is contrary to this. Once the war starts, Henry does not regret his decision to go to war and more importantly; accepts that it was his own decision that England is now at war. This is shown in Act 3, Scene 1 where Henry is motivating his army by saying things like "Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood" and "Cry, 'God for Harry, England and Saint George!'". Here, he is trying to improve the performance of his army and increasing their morale at the same time. ...read more.


By doing this, he is maturing because he has realised that a king has the majority influence on people rather than doing less. Conversely, his speech could also be taken from a different angle. It is almost as if he is resigned to the fact that they are going to lose the battle so he is making a last ditch effort to do whatever he can which will enhance his chances of winning the war. By making a speech that is personal, for example saying "we band of brothers" and by increasing the honour and rewards of winning, he is already ensuring that his army are geared up for a war. This shows that he is not trying hard enough to act like a king and to maximise his chances of winning. In Act 4, Scene 6, when the innocent English are found dead, Henry is rightly angry. In fact, he says "I was not angry since I came to France until this instant". At this time he is controlling his anger, unlike in the first act when he declares war just because he is angered by the Dauphin's present. ...read more.


When he is reading out how many are killed in the battle, he does not rejoice at the lack of English casualties. Even after Exeter tells him "'Tis wonderful", Henry stays modest and instead tells Exeter that the praise is "His (God's) only". This shows great kingship and maturity because he is restricting celebrations. This means that he has taken into consideration that the French are saddened by their big losses and does not want to taunt the French. Ultimately, I think that by the end of the play, Henry has cleared most of his negative attributes and has replaced them with many more positive ones. From the beginning of the play Henry shows his potential a few times, for example when he is questioning the traitors, he uses a good mix of personal emotions and a tough punishment. He is able to win a war because he realises that a king must do much more than just do what the people underneath him want to happen, instead it is much more about using your own skills and showing good leadership. ?? ?? ?? ?? Coursework ...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. Shakespeare's Henry V

    These comparisons emphasise Henry's leadership qualities and the audience feels a sense of pride in their previous King. Shakespeare also presents Henry as a great King throughout the course of the play. In his speech before the battle of Harfleur, Shakespeare depicts Henry as being very patriotic, he uses the

  1. Was Henry V an inspiring leader or a cold and severe king?

    Also the deal with the glove is very inspiring because it gives the soldier drive to get through the battle and find out who the owner of the glove is. However the real effect of this is on the audience.

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

    This shows him addressing them all as friends. By doing this it makes them feel special and like there a family - in it all together. This makes his soldiers sound really superior to the other side and ready for the fight.

  1. In Henry IV Part 1, the transformation of Hal is central to Shakespeares presentation ...

    virtuous man whom I have often noted in thy company, but I know not his name." However, when the roles reverse and Hal plays the king he is a lot more critical of Hal's friends. The role play, which started as light-hearted banter, becomes a lot more serious as Falstaff

  2. How does Shakespeare show the qualities of kingship in Henry V

    This is one of the most famous lines in the play. It shows Shakespeare portraying Henry as a monarch ready to give up his existence for his country. This shows the sacrifices he is willing to make and to even become a martyr due to this all in the aid of the country, and the love he possesses for it.

  1. Comment on the significance of Act 3 Scene 7 in what it suggests about ...

    A model king should not have to justify his actions to his subjects as this suggests disloyalty and distrust. Friendship is portrayed in this scene also, in Pistol's plea for Bardolph's life. Fortune is Bardolph's foe''. Pistol has not abandoned his pompous and comic way of speaking.

  2. Is Henry V an ideal Christian king?

    During the speech Henry uses the metaphors of a game of tennis e.g. a set being played in France [line 263], the triple pun on the word court [line 266] where the meanings are a tennis court, regal court and law court and chases [line 267] which are part of tennis scoring system.

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