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

Henry V Coursework

Extracts from this document...


Melanie Parkes Henry V Coursework From "nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales" to the "mirror of all Christian kings": Select what you consider to be some important episodes in the play and discuss Shakespeare's dramatic presentation of Henry's career. How does Henry come across to an audience as a man and a king? As a young man and heir to the throne, Henry is shown by Shakespeare to be ambitious, calculating and in some respects cold-hearted. At the end of Act One, Scene Two, comes one of the most important speeches in "Henry IV". Hal speaks his soliloquy in verse, which is a contrast to the light conversation earlier in the scene. The verse makes him seem more of a nobleman and is more fitting to the Prince of Wales. He knows that his friends are unsuitable for a prince and that his behaviour has attracted serious criticism. However: "...Herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world." This is not the most endearing of speeches. We have just met Hal's friends and seen how he acts with them, yet here he is planning how he will "throw off" "this loose behaviour". ...read more.


Henry's youth spent consorting with the lower classes may have played a part in his attitude towards those below him, and given him a virtual insight to what they require. We also see Henry as a skilled and inspiring speaker. When his men are despondent at the sheer numbers of the French compared with their own "ruined band", Henry delivers the rousing St Crispian's Day speech before the battle of Agincourt and fires them all with enthusiasm (Act four, Scene three) Henry is displayed by Shakespeare as a model King and military leader, and in comparison the English are portrayed as the better side as opposed to the less than adequate French side. Shakespeare was obviously somewhat biased when it came to his own country. Although Henry's duties as a King seem flawless we question his character at certain points of the play when his friends become complications in his duties. He shows no favouritism towards Bardolph, who is caught stealing from a church. Henry had given orders for no looting and lets the execution proceed. Also, when Falstaff falls ill, the hostess certainly believes that Henry has acted in an unfeeling way to Falstaff: "the king has killed his heart" This could be considered cold hearted or it could be argued he is fair and firm. ...read more.


the plays in my opinion Henry generally comes over as a faultless King and military leader, but that Shakespeare the introduces doubts from time to time and that on the personal front Henry shows his limitations. However, if I was only to see two films I don't think there would be any doubt created about Henry's duties as a King or a man. When you read the play, when Bardolph is caught stealing he is hanged and we don't know what Henry is thinking, on the other hand, in Branagh's film it shows Henry genuine grief as he is being hung memories of the Boar's Head Tavern with Bardolph are shown in flashback. Although Henry may have had a bad start, he knew his aims; he knew what he wanted to do and the result of his actions. I cant help but admire Henry for putting his duties as a King first, at even the most difficult times when his friends are involved. He comes over as an inspirational leader, caring for the thoughts of his men and trying to uplift them. Henry as a man is also admirable; he may have his faults with wooing, but I think this reminds us he is human and he still manages to come through on top. ...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

    "The gates of mercy shall be all shut up, And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart, In liberty of bloody hand shall range" A vivid picture is built up in the Governors mind that there will be no mercy, and Henry's soldiers will be given the freedom to do as they like.

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

    Also, when King Henry rejects his old best friend Falstaff, many people would think he is being very cold and the only reason why he casts him away is because he has a higher social status than him now and Falstaff is not worthy.

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

    He tells them that they have nothing to lose by saying "Or close the wall up with our English dead". In doing this it tells all his men that they can either fight to succeed or not fight and die and become a wall to protect the rest.

  2. Shakespeare's Henry V

    He sends all his nobles away with the King telling them the have "free power to ratify, augment or alter as your wisdoms best" - his general message being: add to the treat until the King signs it. This shows us Henry's political skills and direct approach.

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

    'religious' status, are the characters who are greedy for status, money and power. As Henry is depicted to be of a positive nature, however this can be questioned by where Ely and Canterbury are actually situated (ante-chamber).Nonetheless, this could in actual fact suggest that they may use Henry's love for the church against him.

  2. Henry V - "The play's aim is to celebrate heroic actions under a heroic ...

    Act 2 is about Henry showing up traitors in his army, and some other characters called Bardolph, Nym and Pistol. They are poor, thieving lowlifes that decide to join the army to profit from the war. The French organise their defences.

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

    being loyal and united, which is supported by Henry's war speech, given to prepare the men, in which he says "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers" (4.3.60). War in Henry V is especially representative of Henry himself.

  2. Choose the three speeches that tell You what type of man Henry V was.

    Henry V is an extremely determined man who shows this when he is ready to destroy a whole town, Harfleur, just to get his own way. This is in Act III Scene II when he gives his speech to governor ordering him to surrender: "I will not leave the half achieved Harfleur Till in her ashes she lied buried."

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