What is Shakespeare conveying to his audience in Act I of Henry V?

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What is Shakespeare conveying to his audience in Act I of Henry V? Shakespeare is conveying many things in Act I of Henry V through the chorus before Act I and in Act I itself. It also tells us of the decisions that Henry V has made as well as the situation. Shakespeare portrays Henry's leadership qualities in his dealings with the French and the way the other characters talk about Henry. The chorus in the prologue gives us some information about the character Henry V. The chorus apologizes telling the audience, "But pardon, gentles all, The flat upraised spirits that hath dared On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth Also great an object" This is telling the audience that it is difficult for them to give Henry V all the honor and glory he deserves when depicting his life on stage. This is also telling the audience that Henry was a great king. In the chorus as well Shakespeare uses imagery comparing Henry when the chorus tells the audience that Henry should "Assume the port of


At first they are discussing how they are trying to convince Henry to vote against a bill in which the consequences of the bill would be that the church "lose the better half of our possession". They have agreed that if Henry votes against the bill, which assures its failure, they will agree to recognize the claim of Henry's claim to the throne of France. Shakespeare gives us this information to tell the audience that Henry can be more powerful and that he has a right to be. The archbishop of Canterbury in line22 tells us "The King is full of grace and fair regard" and the Bishop of Ely reply's to this with "And a true lover of the holy church". Not only is this telling us specific details about Henrys qualities Shakespeare is continually making the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely praise Henry. The repetition of praises from such important people from the church makes Henry seem magnificent and almighty.


Because of his age and his manner as a prince, Ely and Canterbury feel they can persuade Henry's open mind to make a war happen. Henry is able to spot the subtle ways of the archbishop as well as follow the archbishop through his confusing speech where the archbishop traces Henry to the French crown through the English kings of the past. Although Henry agrees to Canterbury's claims, he warns Canterbury that he should be very wary of the effect his claim on France could have upon the entire country as he warns the archbishop that his advice may cost a lot of blood. Shakespeare conveys many things about dauphin through the ambassador. One thing, which is extremely obvious, is that Dauphin underestimates Henry and is mistaken Henry for the prince he used to be. We find this out through the words "savors too much of his youth". The rude message was accompanied by a mocking gift of tennis balls with eh message that he should go play. Henry shows this anger not through expressions but through his words in his replying message back to the Dauphin.

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