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Henry V in Act 1 and 2

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Introduction

Angus Walker 3rd May 2007 The Presentation of Henry in Acts I and II In Acts I and II of Henry V, the King is portrayed in many different ways. These include cautious, honourable, witty and responsible. In these Act I, Henry is debating with the Bishops of Canterbury and Ely whether to go to war with France. They decide to go to war, but only with sensible precautions in place to stop the Scots invading. In Act II Henry deals with three traitors. The scene then moves to the French King's court, where he and the Dauphin are discussing England's declaration of war. In Act I Scene i the two bishops are discussing the King. Shakespeare uses their dialogue as a device with which we learn Henry's character. For example we learn that Henry was a troubled youth, and spent hours drinking and banqueting. But then he matures and blossoms into a serious King: "Consideration like an angel came" With this phrase Shakespeare tells us of his change. ...read more.

Middle

shows Henry as pious but also as honourable, as he stands up for himself and declares his Christianity, as if he is honoured to be a Christian. This is honourable as his is proud of his faith and declares it even in hostile times. In Act I Henry is portrayed as witty by Shakespeare as when he receives a box of tennis-balls from the Dauphin as a symbol of Henry's youth, he retorts with "We will in France...play a set, shall strike his father's crown into the hazard." In this quote Henry is saying that he will use the balls in France and score a point with the French King's crown. This is both meant in reality, as Henry will play tennis in France when they are victorious but also it is a metaphor, meaning Henry will play with the French crown and court as they mean so little to him. In the same speech Shakespeare depicts Henry as powerful and determined, as Henry says "I will rise there with so full ...read more.

Conclusion

In this quote Shakespeare shows Henry as determined as he does not let his feelings for the three men cloud his judgement and he is determined to do the best for his Country, and further shows the levels of maturity he has reached since his wild childhood. The sentence also shows Henry as responsible as he is taking responsibility for his Country and dealing with them on his behalf and not on his own. In Acts I and II Shakespeare describes Henry as responsible, cautious, powerful, witty, determined, honourable and pious. He does this so that he can inspire some patriotism in the reader before the English go off to fight in France. These traits are all ones to be proud of, and Shakespeare uses them to give us a sense pf what an excellent king Henry was. Further on in Act II, Shakespeare describes the character of the French court, and we see that he is contrasting the two figures of Henry and the Dauphin, and these traits show us that the English are far superior to the French. ...read more.

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