How does Shakespeare present the
Character of King Henry V in act 2, scene 2.
In act 2, scene 2 Shakespeare presents Henry as someone who is powerful, confidant and dominant. However he is also presented as being human like everyone else and having normal emotions. Shakespeare has created Henry’s personality to show what makes an ideal king.
Shakespeare shows Henry’s power by his anger and superiority over the traitors. When talking to the traitors he makes a long speech through which Shakespeare stresses Henry’s power, ‘How dare you for shame, talk of mercy.’ The phrase, ‘How dare you’ suggests that Henry is outraged. It also suggests that he is disgusted by the way his inferiors are talking to him. This shows power as he is showing his outrage and telling them what to do. The power of his speech could be shown on stage by Henry’s facial expressions such as glaring, going red in the face or narrowing his eyes. His anger could also be shown by violent actions such as knocking chairs over and grabbing hold of the traitors. The traitors could also look very frightened.
Henry is also made to look powerful by the way he is treated by people in his presence. Shakespeare shows this power by the way any one of his constituent’s address Henry. E.g. always ending their sentences with my liege, my lord or my royal sovereign, ‘So did you, my liege’. The phrase, ‘my liege’ suggests respect and Henry’s superiority over the person speaking. On stage to show power by the way he is treated by people in his presence as well as being addressed properly as I have discussed, when Henry enters a room or when people come to talk to him they could bow, showing Henry’s power and superiority.