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Henry The Fifth Essay

856 words - 4 pages

Charisma is a trait many great leaders possess because it is what allows them to lead nations and bond with citizens. Henry, in WIlliam Shakespeare's “Henry V,” exudes charisma. Henry has numerous archetypical subsets of his own personality, and using situational awareness Henry exposes these sides of himself. Henry’s three major facets, his personableness, facetiousness, and leadership, show that he is a multi-dimensional figure in the story. Henry does not act just as one man, but manipulates his own personality, showing specific character types that he formulates to best suit his situations.
Henry’s personable nature is formed to enhance his ability to connect to his men. He uses this ...view middle of the document...

This was most likely the Henry that was seen in his younger days. When he shows this side of himself no real compassion is being sought after. The two major instances of the facetious Henry are when he catches the French spies, and he has a soldier who doubted him before the battle of Agincourt considered a traitor (a crime that is punishable by death). This side of Henry encompasses his intelligence, humor, and sometimes cruelty. This Henry is best suited for situations where punishment is required. With both the traitors and William, Henry plays upon the situational irony to turn the wrong-doer’s argument into their punishment. This is where the intelligence of Henry is used, but the way he carries out these situations is where the jocular aspect of his personality is involved. By making those punished condemn themselves, Henry shows them the error in their ways and still remains a strong leader. His manipulation of his traits causes the men caught in these situations to follow a socratic seminar-like debate, which gives Henry his desired outcome.
The commander persona Henry frequently portrays is an active and captivating speaker who can inspire a group to charge into certain death. This persona’s main function is to motivate, drive, and inspire those around Henry while continuing to be a strong leader. The speech given before the battle of Agincourt clearly illustrates this. His ability to captivate his audience, and motivate them with the glory of honor to come is what makes this Henry such an effective communicator....

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