Vimalraj Arumugam 9P English Homework 10/05/2007
Henry’s character is revelled in more depth in this scene. Shakespeare has given Henry the attributes of a respectable king and a skilful soldier. He has the qualities to win against the Dauphin. Henry is a devoutly religious man, ‘save those to God that run before our business.’ In addition he seeks approval and support of the Church before waging war. He prays sincerely, entrusting his enterprise to God’s will. Henry is said to be ambitious, ‘I will rise there with so full a glory that I will dazzle the eyes of France.’ Here he says he will win the war against the Dauphin and he is shown to be very confident when he says this.
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‘We are no tyrants, but a Christian king unto whose grace our passion is as subject.’ This quote gives the evidence that Henry has a courteous side to him. This means that he has respect and belief that his subjects will stand by him all the way. Henry is very patient in this scene since the French ambassador took a long time to come and see Henry and proves his claim is right to the throne. Henry’s reply to the Dauphin’s message shows dignity, self-control and wit. There is also, menacing determination in his speech. The message from the Dauphin was that Henry’s life was always a game so he sent Henry tennis balls to play with. Henry using his self controls turns the gift to mocker the Dauphin by saying the war will be a brutal game.
Henry’s other characteristic is to be decisive and firm. His reply to the Dauphin’s tennis balls insult is angry and but dignified. The best feature Henry has is his calculating skills. He uses these to decide to split his army into quarters of to take them to war with the Dauphin. He listens to the advice of others and considers such practical issues as the danger of a Scottish attack. Henry is determined to win the war, ‘plodded like a man for working days. But I will rise there with so full a glory.’ This shows Shakespeare has made him determined to win the war. Henry has a legalistic side him, ‘did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third.’ This means Henry requests, if has the right to have a claim to the French throne. Ruthless, angry and vengeful all comes under the same category for Henry. He has all these features to make his the lead soldier in the war.
Henry is well prepared for the battle since he gathers his troop for the expedition at the end of the scene. He has everything planned out. Henry use theatrical terms when he speaks, ‘when I do rouse me in my throne of France.’ This states Henry has prepared to take the throne to France one way another. Henry uses force, to try to make the Dauphin back up. He is shrewd when the tennis balls arrive, he does not reply with a gift of mockery to Dauphin instead he uses his gift to mocker Dauphin. This is good judgement by Henry. In addition Henry is very attentive when the French Ambassador arrives. Henry tells him to speak in plain English for him to listen closely. Now you see Henry has a lot of attributes and characteristics and is seen with a lot of praise for he is a ‘STAR of ENGLAND.’