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With reference to all of the scenes in Acts 1 & 2 explore how Shakespeare creates the audience's understanding of Henry V's character.

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With reference to all of the scenes in Acts 1 & 2 explore how Shakespeare creates the audience's understanding of Henry V's character. In William Shakespeare's Henry V the audience's conception of the protagonist, King Henry develops and alters repeatedly throughout Act 1 and Act 2. Shakespeare uses his speeches and also the conversations between characters to develop the character. The audiences' perception of Henry changes dramatically from the prologue to the end of Act 2. In the prologue the audience get the impression that King Henry is an extremely dependable leader, however as his character develops as the play goes on audiences find out that there are some flaws in his character but also find out that he also has a "whimsical" side. As in most Shakespearean plays the main character King Henry, does not appear in the prologue or the first scene of the first act. The prologue is a chorus which speaks highly of Henry as king and describes him as 'warlike' and compares him to the god of war, Mars. ...read more.


He shows his "appreciation" of the gift and then gives a speech in a mildly misleading manner, commenting that he is "glad" that the Dauphin is immature enough to make a joke at his expense. Henry then goes on to transform the game of tennis into a war metaphor. He threatens France, stating that the war will be like a game, the spoils of which will be the kingship of France. Moreover, Henry blames the Dauphin for the impending destruction of France. Henry states clearly that the upcoming consequences and events will serve as revenge for the Dauphin's joke. Through his decision to invade France as revenge the audience opens their eyes to a new side of king, one that is egotistical and malleable. They can clearly see that he did not decide to invade France for his people nor the benefit of his country but because of his pride and vanity. They can question his ethical status. The chorus in the opening of the second act shows that Henry is now almost ready to invade France. ...read more.


The Dauphin believes that Henry is still foolish as he was in his youth and is extremely eager to go to France where as the Dauphin's father Charles does not share the same enthusiasm. Charles strongly believes that the Henry is a great threat against France. He knows that Henry is a strong and influential leader who comes from a line of powerful ancestors. The audience learns that even the French King is afraid of Henry. King Henry is vain character who is also intelligent and commanding. We see that he is a merciless king by the way he deals with traitors and threatens to invade France and take it by force if the French do not cooperate and meet his demands. The audience's opinion of King Henry V alters and varies throughout Acts 1 and 2 of the play however it is obvious that he is no ordinary man. King Henry has many dimensions and the audience is swayed to have empathy with this character, yet at times be terrified and jilted at the horrific deeds he can do. He possesses qualities that make him both terrifying yet familiar. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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