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

Henry V Coursework

Free essay example:

Natalie Baynham

Did Henry marry Katherine out of duty or love? Explore the events and language of the play and Shakespeare’s portrayal of Henry’s character to form your own interpretation of how the ending should be performed

Henry V is a play of many themes and emotions, such as patriotism, bravery and desire. It takes a young, naïve man through a journey that moulds him into a brave and noble King, after his father’s death. This young man is Henry V who struggles to prove himself as a worthy King and discovers that there are some who will simply betray him.

   Many battles are portrayed in the play, such as the Battle of Agincourt and the battle at Harfleur, in which the English are victorious. Henry processes are vast passion and desire to conquer France as helays claims to certain parts of France, based on his distant roots in the French royal family and on a very technical interpretation of ancient land laws. With the support of the English noblemen and clergy the English set off to conquer France much to the disgust of the French, especially the Dauphin. However, despite the out-numbering of English soldiers at Agincourt the French surrendered and the English were triumphant. Following, peace negotiations between France and England are met involving Henry marrying the King of France’s daughter Katherine, which will unite the two Kingdoms and Henrys son, shall become King of France.

  A question is evident in the event of the marriage between Henry and Katherine; did Henry marry Katherine out of duty or love? There are several arguments for both aspects of the question to consider.

Henry is so driven to conquer and return it to English heritage once again that is could even marry to secure his reign in France. However, Henry clearly says ‘I cannot mince it in love’, therefore he could be serious about his love for Katherine. Also, Henry is willing to learn French so he can communicate to Katherine and surely if he did not posses true feelings he would not inconvenience himself?  In Kenneth Branagh rendition of Henry V he portrays the relationship shared between Katherine and Henry of a romantic nature, with the proverbial ‘happy ever after’ evening. A critic even commented, And the end scene with Henry V and his bride-to-be is extremely well played. Kind of cute even, this is unusual for this genre.’

  Katherine is the only female main character, in actual fact she is only one of two female characters, in the play. However, she is a significant character in the play as she typifies a female character in a very masculine play. She is portrayed as a beautiful woman whose plan is to find a suitable husband, regardless of what she really desires because of the masculine valve system surrounding her and her culture.  Katherine, too, excepts that her father has plans for her to marry a powerful man to secure his place in the French monarchy, so she too learns another language, however this is English. Shakespeare uses Katherine’s English lessons with Alice to highlight her role as a tool of negotiation among the men.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Henry V section.

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

Related University Degree Linguistics, Classics and related subjects Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related University Degree Henry V essays

  1. Would you agree that the sounds, spelling, grammar and vocabulary of present-day English and ...

    Many of the words in the extract have become obsolete while some are still in used today but may differ in meaning as when they were used in the story. 12. For most the pronouns used in the story like he, his, him and me still retain the same meaning as when they were used then.

  2. Henry V (Act 1, sceneII)

    Many words used by Shakespeare are not used today such as "o'er - 'tis - hath". The most important feature of Shakespeare's plays is the fact that they are largely composed of poetry, not prose. What distinguishes poetry most obviously from prose is that it is arranged in lines of

  1. To What Extent Did Thomas Cromwell Shape The English Reformation?

    Parliament had played a minor part in the first 20 years of Henry's reign as it had done with previous monarchs, so it can be said Cromwell's vision was truly innovative. Had there been no Cromwell and no such suggestion, the course of English History may well have taken a vividly different path.

  2. The English Reformation.

    It is not to say that had Anne not presented Henry with this book, the split from Rome would have never occurred. However, the fact remains that Anne did seek the opportunity to instill these new principles in Henry, which aided the Reformations development.

  1. What was the effect of the Norman and Angevin kings' possession of Normandy on ...

    William's fairly successful reign in England was followed by that of his sons' William Rufus and Henry Beauclerk. They both also acquired Normandy, (in 1096 and 1106 respectively), and spent more of their time there rather than in England. According to historian M.Clanchy this suggests either "and order of priority

  2. "In relation to other factors, how far was Henry's desire for divorce the main ...

    Nonetheless, Henry's attempts to persuade Catherine to agree to an annulment were without success. She refused to cooperate and basically did all that she could to hinder any divorce going ahead, even under intense pressure from Henry and after a number generous monetary offers.

  1. With close reference to Henry V, Act 1, scene ii, ll.260-298, in an essay ...

    He cleverly turns the Dauphins' jeer around (ll.260-267) an elongated and extended metaphor: "...the courts of all France will be disturbed." but not by being beaten at a game of tennis. The "wrangler" or maker of deals, as Henry refers to himself, abruptly ends the metaphor by reminding the enemy

  2. Shakespeare - King Henry V.

    So the chorus is mostly full of positive things of Henry. The chorus is also there to help the audience to understand the situation or the position of Henry-what the surroundings are like, for example if there were in a theatre, where the background didn't look very real.

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