Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 2895 words

Henry V Speech Analysis

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Henry V and see how teachers think you should prepare in:

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Henry V persuasion speech analysis. Once more unto the breach dear friends once more. This speech given by Henry 5th is set at the siege of the French town Harfleur, where Henry's miners have blown a breach in the outer wall and his soldiers are reluctant to enter the castle as they know that it means almost certain death. Henry is trying to persuade them to rush into the breach. Shakespeare's speech for Henry is decasyllabic, ( each line has 10 syllables) showing that Henry is a noble man. "dear friends" In the first line of the speech Henry addresses his soldiers personally, this creates a feeling of comradeship and allows him to gain their trust, with the intention of increasing their loyalty to him as they feel that they are respected and held in high esteem. "Or close the wall up with our English dead" Henry does not lie to his soldiers; he is honest and tells them that it is better for them to die fighting like heroes than cowards that will end up filling up the breach with their dead bodies. This reinforces the soldiers trust in Henry as they feel that he is openly addressing the situation at hand and he earns their respect by doing so. "In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility;" Shakespeare uses sibilants which are consonants that are pronounced with a hissing sound in 'peace', 'modest' and 'stillness' and rallentando which is a gradual slowing of pace, to modulate the speech .Henry indicates to his soldiers that they are good honest men, even though he knows that most of his army was made up of thieves and murders, however it allows them to feel noble and inflates their self esteem , which serves Henry's purpose.

Middle

Shakespeare also states that Henry's men are 'rough and hard of heart' implying that they have no sympathy for the French people. "mowing like grass" In the modern day this brings to mind the mowing down of men using a machine gun, however Henry's soldiers would be using long swords Shakespeare uses this to build a picture in the governors head of his citizens being hacked down and brutally murdered. "Your fresh fair virgins and your flow'ring infants" Henry is clearly indicating to the governor that the weak and defenceless will be targeted. "What is it then to me" Henry is acting as if he does not care about the welfare of his adversaries reminding the governor that there will be no mercy. "when you yourselves are cause," If the governor refuses to surrender and the French get beaten then the blame lays solely on the governor. In this way Henry isolates the governor, and puts pressure on him by holding him responsible for the outcome. "If your pure maidens fall into the hand Of hot and forcing violation? What rein can hold licentious wickedness" This is directed towards the citizens who are listening to the speech. It strikes fear in to their hearts and singles out the governor as he is saying that once his soldiers are let lose they cannot be controlled and the governor will be the person who set them lose, if he doesn't surrender. "We may as bootless spend our vain command Upon th' enraged soldiers in their spoil, As send precepts to the Leviathan To come ashore." Assimilating his soldiers with the 'Leviathan' ( A mythical sea monster)

Conclusion

"This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered-" Henry is telling them that they will become legends and heroes. This makes them feel energized and fearless. "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother;" He calls them his brothers removing all class barriers and thus gives them the carrot of being regarded as nobility. Fighting like brothers side by side will also give his army more strength. "And gentle men in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day." The first two lines here refer to the beginning of the speech where Westmoreland said that 'O that we now had here But one ten thousand of those men in England That do no work to-day!' Henry has managed to completely turn this around by saying that those men back in England laying safe in their beds will curse themselves for not being here and think less of their manhoods when they hear the stories of the brave solders who fought on Saint Crispin's day St. In this way Henry cleverly convinces his solders to fight like brothers and if they fight with great zeal they are assured to win and will forever be remembered in history. Henry's invigoration of his solders paid off when they won the battle and the French reported to him that the number of French dead was about twenty thousand and the number of English dead was a mere twenty nine. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ravi Lakhani 10Y 13/04/2009 1

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Henry V essays

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

    As Henry arrived at Harfluer with worried but proud Soldiers. To engage them ready for battle he makes a speech o make them feel special and so that they believe they can fight to win. T the start of this speech he says "Dear friends".

  2. 'Henry V constantly refuses to accept responsibility for his actions. He has yet to ...

    So Henry has no choice but to do the same thing that the French have done. Moreover, this proves that he is a good king because he is not giving the impression of being cautious anymore. He is proving to the French that he is not scared of them and is bold enough to order the death of their prisoner's.

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

    to lead the army into battle even though they are outnumbered by at least five to one. He is very inspiring because everyone doubted him as a king before he went to war with France because of his wild younger days, but throughout the play he matured.

  2. I will be writing about how Henry V wins the hearts of his men. ...

    Scroop had put a price on their friendship, their extremely deep friendship, "That knew'st the very bottom of my soul." How can one not differentiate between 'black and white,' Henry uses comparison yet again. Another example of such technique is, "the voice in hell for excellence," he refers the traitor's act as sheer 'excellence' even in 'hell'.

  1. The Journeys End

    and fire at the site, but to our surprise, there was an enormous explosion the rest of the team had taken out the other site. YES!! We thought here's our chance; 3 of the guards had gone to investigate. Jimmy got the 66's ready while I got my 203, we

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

    This means that the quote, "cities turned into a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls that war hath never entered," shows the taking of a woman's virginity is like the taking a city. We see another example of war as sex when we hear "the blind and

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

    Although the comedy continues throughout the scene, as it progresses we find out there is an underlying message: Hal has to reject Falstaff in order to regain his honour and become kingly. Earlier in the play as a prank Hal and Poins rob Falstaff, Bardolph, Gadshill and Peto immediately after they have robbed some pilgrims travelling to Canterbury.

  2. Shakespeare's Henry V

    Shakespeare also employs other characters in the play to present Henry as a great warrior. In Act 1 Scene 3 Captain Llewellyn compares Henry's Harfleur campaign to that of Roman military tactics. He does this because the Romans are world famous for their cunning battle tactics and outstanding discipline.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Henry V and see how teachers think you should prepare in: