How does Shakespeare present the character of Henry V

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  How does Shakespeare present the character of   Henry V

The character of Henry V in the play is not a simple one as it has many aspects. In this essay I will try and analyse how King Henry’s character progresses and changes through-out the play and show why I believe Shakespeare represented the character in this way. To analyse the character of Henry V I will look at the King’s manners, speech and behaviour throughout the play.

An insight into the character of Henry is shown here in his behaviour when he became King. At the start of the play in Act One Scene One the Archbishop of Canterbury (Canterbury) and the Bishop of Ely (Ely) are speaking. The two speak of two important things to do with our question, Canterbury says that “The King is full of grace and fair regard.” To which Ely replies “And a true lover of the holy Church.” These both are qualities expected of a noble and honourable king, showing that Henry himself is honourable. However Canterbury tells us this was not always so,                                                                                      “The breath no sooner left his father’s body,                                                                        But that wildness, mortified in him,                                                           Seemed to die too;”

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These lines tell the audience how the King left his frivolous youth behind him and accepted responsibility of being King when his father died. This shows a king committed to his people, country and duty, by being willing to give up a life of constant fun. As well as a king who is able to adapt to certain conditions, an ability that can come in handy when his kingdom changes due to public outcry, religious reform or world affairs.

In Act Three Scene One Henry’s speech is world famous. However, it also shows a lot about Henry, his ...

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