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How does Shakespeare show the qualities of kingship in Henry V

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Introduction

Henry V- How does Shakespeare show the qualities of kingship? The play Henry V was written in the reign of Elizabeth the 1st. This was a time when the Spanish Armada was taking place and Mary Queen of Scots was probably plotting and scheming away on how she could get rid of Elizabeth and to take the throne. This was a perfect opportunity for Shakespeare to step up and to produce a morale-boosting and confidence-reclaiming play- Henry V People of that time were quite aware of Henry V and heir opinion of him was a sanguine one. They knew of his feats and how his status was quite a high one. Shakespeare couldn't have chosen this play to be released and performed at a better time. What makes a great king? Is it the fact that he is pious and religious, so that his people have a good example of a leader by relating with religion? Or does he have to be strategic and have situations such as country matters under control and to also have the upper-hand in wars and battles. ...read more.

Middle

A main factor which assisted the depression of his men has now been removed from their mind as a bad factor and has made them see light at the end of this tunnel. For this to be done it requires an intelligent person and someone who has got great literary skills. Intelligence because of the manner it was transformed from bad to good and the literary skills because of the way it was put forward and how it could receive the maximum impact of thought from it. Honour in that period of time was considered as something very high and admiration was obtained from it. It could separate you from an ordinary person and was the only a person who wasn't that rich could get respect and rise up the in the ranks. 'That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made' (Lines 35-36) Though this is a risk and his men could very well leave due to this comment, King Henry is very sure that they will be doing no such thing. ...read more.

Conclusion

'For he today that sheds blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile' (Lines 61-62) This is the final thing that Henry V does to try to make definite that his men are going to take part in the war. He says to them that whosoever accompanies him in battle will have the reward of being his brother. This is like the icing on the cake for the men after already being hypnotised with prospects of what the future may hold. This reward is definite as they know there is a very high chance that blood will be shed so there is a very high chance of getting that reward. Shakespeare has portrayed Henry as the almost perfect king with a very long list of qualities. This was exactly what the people of Elizabethan times needed and is still performed when wars are happening in this modern era. I think the most effective qualities that Henry has is that he is very strong-willed and the fact he can change the minds of people who have their hearts set on something contrary is very nicely exposed by Shakespeare. # ?? ?? ?? ?? Junade Ul-Hussain ...read more.

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