• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5

An Exploration of Shakespeare(TM)s Presentation of the King in Henry V(TM).

Extracts from this document...


An Exploration of Shakespeare's Presentation of the King in 'Henry V'. The play 'Henry V' written by William Shakespeare depicts Henry to be a magnanimous but ruthless king. He is portrayed as a soldier, a romantic, a friend as well as a king. In the first prologue of the play Henry is shown as having a mythical significance, which sets up an image of Henry before the audience actually encounter him. It is implied to the audience that Henry is an all-powerful being with 'famine, sword and fire' at his feet. This has a strong impact on the audience as a comparison between Henry and the Roman god of war suggests the magnitude of his power. 'Assume the port of Mars'. It represents not only the power he has in physical terms, but also shows his authoritative position. The Bishop develops the positive nature of Henry by referring to him as 'full of grace and fair regard', showing that he is not just an authoritative figure with immense power. In addition to this, in the conversation between Ely and Canterbury, the religious attachment of Henry is presented. For instance the quotation 'and a true lover of the holy church' shows that he is a person who loves and respects the church. ...read more.


Henry has used the insult of the tennis b***s but turned it around onto the Dauphin, showing his intelligent and witty side 'Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance.' Henry, has adopted a more serious note and is angry, but seems to be handling the insult made by the Dauphin rather lightly, showing that he is not hasty as illustrated in the earlier scenes, but that he is calm and patient. However, the contrast between the Dauphin and Henry portrays Henry to be more mature and responsible than the Dauphin. The speech before the gates of Harfleur, displays Henry's skills as a spokesman as he manages to persuade the governor to let him and his men in. Henry does this by making various threats. For example 'With conscience wide as h**l, mowing like grass Your fresh, fair virgins and your flowering infants.' Shakespeare uses both alliteration and metaphorical language in Henry's speech to create trepidation in the governor. The use of the alliteration allows significance to be placed on specific words; here Shakespeare uses harsh contrast to inform the governor of what could happen to France's 'fresh, fair virgins', these being the women of France. He then further warns 'If your pure maidens fall into the hand, Of hot and forcing violation?' ...read more.


Once more, he is a King who does not just say things and sit back and watch others do it for him, such as war, where he joined in and took an active role, unlike the French king who is the opposite of Henry. The use of humour is also seen in this scene, when Henry asks Katherine 'Can any of your neighbours tell, Kate? I'll ask them'. This would be humorous as Katherine is not giving Henry a direct answer and Henry therefore begins to become anxious as to how she feels towards him. Again humour is used when Katherine's father walks in whilst Henry and Katherine are kissing, and Henry says 'Here comes your father'. By moving away from Katherine, when her father walks in, also shows that Henry has respect for the French King. Overall, Shakespeare has presented Henry in various different situations, showing him as a powerful leader and a great orator. The audience are left intrigued by him, as he shows great determination throughout the play, this can be seen in the speech before the gates of Harfleur and the active role he takes when fighting in battle. The different facets of Henry not only bring about confusion as he is such a complex character but also mystery. The respect that many held for him was just one of the many great qualities that made the fictional Henry such a great King. Word count 2,282 ?? ?? ?? ?? Henry V-William Shakespeare ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Henry V essays

  1. Henry V Speech Analysis

    Picking on a small group he shouts . "And you, good yeomen, Whose limbs were made in England, show us here The mettle of your pasture;" He is invoking a sense of patriotism and urging them to prove their worth in battle which by now they all want to do.

  2. What makes Henry V such an effective leader?

    This is also another example of Henry's rhetoric skills. This speech by Henry obviously required intelligence to continue the metaphor so well. This intelligence is something that Henry possesses a lot of. When he is betrayed by his colleagues he slyly makes them decide upon their own death in a little psychological game he plays.

  1. In Henry IV Part 1, the transformation of Hal is central to Shakespeares presentation ...

    This change in writing style portrays the class differences between the two separate 'worlds' and further illustrates the distance between them, and therefore highlights the importance of Hal to renounce one in order to join the other. The plots run parallel to each other and certain events in one plot counterpoint those of the other, e.g.

  2. Is Henry V an ideal Christian king?

    During the speech Henry uses the metaphors of a game of tennis e.g. a set being played in France [line 263], the triple pun on the word court [line 266] where the meanings are a tennis court, regal court and law court and chases [line 267] which are part of tennis scoring system.

  1. How does Henry demonstrate his skills as an orator in his speeches at Farfleur ...

    They would pay him a large sum of money to stop the bill going through. Henry agreed and understood that the only way he could do this was by overtaking France. The church turned to Henry for help because he was an accomplished soldier.

  2. I will be writing about how Henry V wins the hearts of his men. ...

    Shakespeare uses use harsh words which horrified me. Shakespeare uses personification when he talks about the French castle, "till in her ashes she lie buried," as he wanted to scare the Emperor of France. Alliteration is repeatedly used, "fresh fair virgins/ flow'ring infants/ blind and b****y /shrill-shrieking daughters."

  1. With reference to all of the scenes in Acts 1 & 2 explore how ...

    The two bishops converse about the fact that no one knew that the king would turn out so well and say that his reformation is nothing short of a miracle. They discuss the fact that Henry realised that if he was to be king he needed people to recognise him as a king that is strong and dependable.

  2. How Helpful To The Audience Is The Chorus in Shakespeare's 'Henry V'

    Showing this proves that Shakespeare's language used more than one device at a time, as proved before it is a metaphor and here gives the army's actions an epic quality. Although not necessarily needed to help the audience, it gives them a feel of how Shakespeare perceives King Henry V throughout the play and how they should understand the play.

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