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An Analysis Of Henry V

1231 words - 5 pages

To our knowledge, Henry V was one of the best kings in British History. His great rise to power was used for posterity in the William Shakespeare's epic writings in the play, named after the king, Henry V. Although it is simply just a play, the story played out by Shakespeare is remarkably close the historical accuracy. Through the course the play, we are able to see the evolution of Henry from a young rambunctious boy to a powerful man who transformed into the prevailing monarch. The reader is taken from the period of time shortly after Henry assumes power to his greatest achievement, victory of France. Charisma, the quality or power that is possessed by an individual that gives them the ability to influence or inspire a larger group of people is definitely a quality Henry V held. The play presents many undeniable examples of Henry's charismatic leadership, The Saint Crispian's day speech being one of them. Hungry, tired, and sick with discouragement in the middle of a retreat to England, the French at Agincourt encountered Henry's army. The British were vastly outnumbered, by at least three to one. Expected to retreat or surrender by his cousin Westmoreland, Henry gave an inspiring speech, relying on his charisma, which challenged the men to run headlong into certain death. Henry states,"If we are mark'd to die, we are enowTo do our country loss; and if to live,The fewer men, the greater share of honour.God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more."Henry's motivational speech addressed valor, kinship, and the glory that all his men would receive. At the end of the play, partly due to the inspiration provided by Henry's charismatic leadership, and partly due to the improved fighting capabilities of the English army, Henry and England prevailed.Speeches such as Henry's Saint Crispian's speech are powerful in their ability to influence others to take action, to take battle. There are times when a leader is faced with the need to rally the troops to achieve a goal. Often this is the case when the goal seems unreachable. Appealing to the sense of what is right and to a person's pride, as Henry did in this speech, can be a powerful force of motivation. Emotional appeals have their place in leadership.Henry was a leader who led by example. He treated the conquered French with dignity and respect. Having conquered Harfleur, he bade his uncle to treat the citizens with mercy Later, after ordering that Bardolph be hung for stealing from a church, he commanded that on their marches through the country nothing be compelled and nothing be taken that was not paid for. Throughout the play, Henry provided a shining example of integrity, courage, and honor for his men to follow.Henry inspired the vision of what would be. From the outset, he painted a vision among his court members of what the monarchy would be when he claimed his rightful place as king of both England and France. He inspired them to follow him into battleTrue leadership requires a leader to...

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