27th September, 2005 Meha Zulfiqar Year. 11
Written by: Meha Zulfiqar
Due in: Wednesday, 27th September, 2005
I will be writing about how Henry V wins the hearts of his men. Using, five main speeches that Henry V makes. I think that Henry won the hearts of his men by persuasion. Beforehand, I would like to apologize because I may talk about what ‘Henry’ says but I truly know this is what Shakespeare wrote.
In the first speech the Dauphin presented Henry V with a set of tennis balls as a joke and insult. He was suggesting that Henry was a ‘child’ and not fit for being a king. I expected Henry V to be angry and yell with frustration but I noticed a sudden silence before Henry started his speech; it seemed as though he was collecting his thoughts and thinking how to answer Dauphin’s so called, “joke.” Henry used that time exceptionally wisely, he starts off with alliteration (which he also uses in Speeches 3, 4 and 5), “Pleasant/ Present/ Pains.” These words may sound calm and polite, but all these words need to be said with clenched teeth. I found the line 290, Act One Scene 2, interesting where Henry says, “…dazzle all the eyes of France, Yea strike the Dauphin blind to look us,” Henry compares himself to the sun: so bright and successful that the Dauphin would not be able to look up to him, making the Dauphin feel inferior. Henry here plays splendidly with words as we can see throughout the play, “Turn his balls to gunstones,” Henry changes something as harmless and simple as tennis balls into weapons of destruction. Henry is often religious and spiritual in his speeches. Here he says, “and soul shall stand sore…” he attacks the Dauphin not physically but spiritually. “ Mock mock out of their dear husbands, mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,” Henry here uses repetition to emphasize the point that he will get back at the Dauphin for his’ present’. Repetition is also used in the second and fifth’ speech.
This is a preview of the whole essay
In the second main speech in which Henry exposes the traitors, I think he plays with the traitors before he tells the traitors that he knows about their, “sin.” Henry loves defeating people at their own game as we saw in the last speech as well. Shakespeare often makes speeches easier to understand by using comparison. In almost all of the speeches, Shakespeare uses examples of objects, which everyone can relate to, or at least can imagine. In this speech he compares the traitors to “monsters.” Shakespeare also uses comparison greatly in the third speech. The traitors are guilty and we all know that but Henry puts the situation in such words, which makes them appear unforgivable, “cruel, Ingrateful, savage, and inhuman creature.” Comparing once again, “…coined me into gold,” he says it as though Lord Scroop had put a price on their friendship, their extremely deep friendship, “That knew’st the very bottom of my soul.” How can one not differentiate between ‘black and white,’ Henry uses comparison yet again. Another example of such technique is, “the voice in hell for excellence,” he refers the traitor’s act as sheer ‘excellence’ even in ‘hell’. I think asking a rhetorical question seems to be very valuable in many ways and Henry uses this technique wisely, giving him a more effective, persuasive and a long lasting effect to his speech. He uses this technique in his speech by saying, “Why so didst thou,” right after he talks about the qualities he once thought these men had and how he was betrayed. Although Henry spoke to them in a genuinely harsh language he later coldly says, “I will weep for thee,” making him sound like a generous and compassionate King.
Henry, in the third speech, is trying to encourage his men before they go to war. I was expecting Shakespeare to write something encouraging, which is exactly what he did, but he added something extra to his speech: emotional blackmail. Shakespeare describes Henry’s soldiers as “tiger,” as they are strong, fast and fearsome. Shakespeare uses alliteration once again (as he used in Speech 1, 3 and 4), “Stiffen / Sinews / Summons,” the “s” sound gives the reader a particular energetic sound. He says his men as, “fair nature,” complimenting them but telling them that in war fair nature would not work instead, they need “hard- favoured rage.” He makes his men feel strong by talking about their eyes, “lend the eye…. /… like the brass cannon.” Henry had done this before in his first speech where he turned “tennis balls” into “gunstones.” He also tells his men, “Swilled with the wild and wasteful ocean,”: a powerful force indeed, and the alliteration, “swilled/ wild/ wasteful,” emphasizes this. Henry cunning talks to his soldiers generally at first but then he emotionally blackmails (a technique used in Speech 5 as well) them and it is done in such a way that the soldiers don not realize, “fathers of war- proof/ Dishonour not your mothers.” Henry has encourages him men to a great deal and he has energized them all through emotional blackmail but now he once again compares his men but this time to “greyhounds,” to make his men truly feel strong. Henry ends his speech with the use of three (which is also used in Speech 4); “God for Harry; England and Saint George!” in order to charge up his men.
After I read the fourth speech I was horrified by Shakespeare’s use of language. 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 bloody /shrill-shrieking daughters.” This alliteration gives a serious flow to his speech and makes him sound cruel and insenstivie. Shakespeare uses metaphors as well, “mowing like grass/ Arrayed in flames like to the prince of fiends.” Shakespeare uses disturbing words in this speech, I do not think that he would have done all he said but had to said such things to make him seem serious. The imagery he produces uses seem powerful, “waste and desolation/ What rein can hold licentious wickedness/ Of hot and forcing violation/ naked infants spitted on pikes.” I think that Henry wants to make it clear that all that this would happen would happen to the French people and in a way he looks down on them, “Your fresh fair virgins and your flow’ring infants/ when you yourselves are cause, if your pure maiden fall into…/ your shrill-shrieking daughters/ Your fathers taken by the silver breads.” This is my favourite speech was the one where he talks to the Emperor of France and at the same time it is the speech which I do not want to read again.
The fifth speech is when Henry gives his men another speech before they go into battle but this time they are outnumbered and Henry wisely changes this negative fact into something positive, “The fewer men, the greater share of honour.” Shakespeare uses alliteration (again as he did in the first, third and fourth speech), “dwell, desire / man more me thinks, me/ fear, fellowship,” once again to give a rhythm to his speech and it makes one think about the words said. Henry names the day, “Feast of Crispin’s Day,” to me that sounded more of emotional blackmailing than encouragement. Henry says that if they win this battle they would be as common as, “household words.” Shakespeare utilizes the technique of ‘use of three’, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,” making it easier for his soldiers to trust him, making him sound more trustworthy. He uses emotional blackmail again as well, “Shall be my brothers.”
I admired how different each speech is. I found it inspiring how Shakespeare can make Henry sound so trustworthy, sensitive and compassionate and two minutes later he can change the way one seems Henry just b y the words he says. Henry