Hero In Shakespeare's 'henry V' And Siegfried Sassoons 'the Hero'

1954 words - 8 pages

‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more’, one of the most celebrated openings to, arguably, the most famous passage within the entire Henry V Shakespeare play. Through this opening we can ascertain that Henry is a character of perseverance and fortitude as he drives his troops into war. Shakespeare’s presentation of Henry is without doubt one of a hero and protagonist as he is presented as a man with a degree of intelligence and allure with motives that are not focused on a lust for power, like most kings, but to his obligations and responsibilities as an exalted rank. It is also apparent from Henry’s indubitably rousing speeches that Shakespeare intends for us to perceive Henry as a hero, or, at the very least, as an estimable king.
On the other hand Siegfried Sassoon’s poem, ‘the hero’, seeks to reveal the facade and sad irony of the traditional image of the ‘war-hero’. Sassoon joined the army himself motivated by patriotism, but after his first-hand experiences he expressed his views on the ‘gritty realism’ of war through his writing. One of his most applauded pieces of work is his poem ‘the hero’ in which he touches upon a very home-hitting matter; the job of a brother officer.
Perhaps Shakespeare’s Henry v character’s most remarkable and heroic quality is his resolve; once Henry has his mind set on accomplishing something he uses every tool at his disposal to see that it is achieved. ‘If we may pass, we will; if we be hinder’d we shall your tawny ground with your red blood discolour’, Henry meticulously presents himself as an unstoppable force to which his enemies must choose to react; although his methods are morally questionable they are an extremely powerful psychological weapon which Henry uses to pressure his enemies into bowing to his will. Henry repeatedly acts in a manner that would be repugnant for an everyday citizen but makes him both a commendable king and hero. This quality of Shakespeare’s Henry is stressed time and again but the most powerfully in which it is conferred is during Henry’s speech with the governor at Harfleur. Henry says to the governor, ‘Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves; or like to men proud of destruction defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier’. Henry is bluntly telling the governor that if he does not surrender to Henry then he will be to blame for the carnage that will be wreaked at Harfleur.
Sassoon’s hero, Jack, is a fictional hero conjured by the colonel and the Brother Officer to satisfy the heart of a grieving mother. We can only guess from the contents of the ‘letter that she’d read’ but the brother Officer claims that the ‘gallant lies’ will ‘nourish all her days, no doubt’ from this we get the feel of an epic propaganda filled letter about a martyred son to his proud mother. The hero in this poem exists only in the mind of his mother; ‘he’d been so brave, her glorious boy’. The strength of adoration we gather that she feels for her hero-son is further accentuated...

Find Another Essay On Hero in shakespeare's 'Henry V' and Siegfried Sassoons 'The Hero'

The Ideal Hero in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1657 words - 7 pages prudent patience.  He is now absolutely determined in his plan and all of his actions are directed towards one accomplishment - to justly punish the one who murdered his father. The proof of this is in the last scene when he orders Horatio to let everyone know the truth, and what went on in the kingdom in the last two months.               Hamlet is the only Shakespeare's tragic hero who doesn't have a tragic flaw, which makes him an ideal

Macbeth: The Tragic Hero in Shakespeare's Macbeth

965 words - 4 pages to be king. He might of been the courageous hero at the beginning of the play but progressed in a downward spiral which caused his condemnation, and made him into a tragic hero. Macbeth was a strong nobleman. He along with Banquo were leaders of the King Duncan’s army. The captain describes Macbeths strength and power that won him the battles, “But all’s too weak:/ For brave Macbeth -- well he deserved that name- / Disdaining fortune, with his

Shakespeare's Macbeth - The Tragic Hero

786 words - 3 pages Macbeth - The Tragic Hero       Every true Elizabethan Tragedy comes complete with a tragic hero.  The tragedy Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, has a perfect example of a tragic hero, otherwise known as Macbeth.  A tragic hero must be a man who is great and admirable in various ways.  He should be placed in society in such a way that everything he does affects all of the members of his society.  A tragic hero should at some

Functions of the Chorus in Shakespeare's Henry V

4374 words - 17 pages . For example in the Act II Chorus, we are told about treason: 'The sum is paid, the traitors are agreed, the king is now set from London, and the scene is now transported, gentles, to Southampton.' As we can see, the chorus reviews what has happened in previous scenes and also tell us where we are going next. Kenneth Branagh made a film version of Shakespeare's Henry V in 1989. He made several alterations to the

Frederic Henry: Code Hero

912 words - 4 pages A Hemingway Code Hero is a trait that almost every main character of Ernest Hemingway’s novels possesses. According to Hemingway, a Code Hero is a man (or woman) who lives correctly and demonstrates respect for honor and courage during a chaotic and stressful world. There is a particular pattern to how a Code Hero conducts his or her life on a day to day basis. In the novel A Farewell to Arms, Frederic Henry is the Code Hero because fate is a

Dying for One's Country in Asquith's The Volunteer and the Extract From Shakespeare's Henry V

2098 words - 8 pages Dying for One's Country in Asquith's The Volunteer and the Extract From Shakespeare's Henry V How effectively do Asquith's Poem, 'The Volunteer,' and the Extract From Shakespeare's 'Henry V' Promote the Idea That it is Heroic to fight and Die For One's Country? What Alternative View, is Offered by Wilfred Owen in 'Dulce et Decorum Est?' The Volunteer is a Pro-War poem written by Herbert Asquith. Asquith uses roman

The Treatment Of The Heterogeneous "Army" By Kenneth Branagh And Lawrence Olivier In Shakespeare's "Henry V"

2206 words - 9 pages In Act III, scene ii of Shakespeare's Henry V, we see firsthand how King Henry's army is heterogeneous, made up of men with four different accents from four different regions, English, Scottish, Irish and Welch. This scene is the only time in the play when these four men from four regions all interact togetherBoth Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh present this scene very differently in their film versions of Shakespeare's play. In my paper I

William Shakespeare's Henry V

2128 words - 9 pages William Shakespeare's Henry V Shakespeare's, Henry V, was written in the late sixteenth century, this composition will focus upon how Shakespeare portrayed Henry V, using factual knowledge and Shakespeare's own interpretation. I will look at the character, language, structure and history of the play. Most Shakespearian, historical, plays were based upon Holinshead's Chronicles, these were mostly true but often

Frederic Henry: Code Hero

813 words - 3 pages Frederic Henry is an ambulance driver in Italy during World War 1 in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Frederic lives in the here and now, and though he faces struggles, he always works toward a resolution. Taking the characteristics into consideration, Frederic is a perfect example of a Hemingway Code Hero. Frederic is involved in multiple struggles over the course of the novel. One of those deals with his love for Catherine. From the moment

William Shakespeare's Henry V

2475 words - 10 pages William Shakespeare's Henry V William Shakespeare is one of the most famous and influential writers of all time. His plays not only portray the past, but also aspects of love and hate, humour and tragedy. Henry V, written by Shakespeare, using Raphael Holinshed's historical chronicles, appealed to many of the citizens of that time, as it presented an insight into their country's past, as well as 'feel-good

Drama vs. History in Shakespeare's Henry V

3888 words - 16 pages Drama vs. History in Shakespeare's Henry V       It is not necessary to have authored seven historical dramas, as Shakespeare had when he set to work on Henry V, to conclude that history is frequently not very dramatic. Chronicles of the past have the subjectivity and subtly of national anthems - they are about appropriating the truth, not approaching it. Noble causes and giant killing abound in these documents, often at the cost of

Similar Essays

Hero In Shakespeare’s Henry V And The Hero By Siegfried Sassoon

1980 words - 8 pages with motives that are not focused on a lust for power, like most kings, but to his obligations and responsibilities as an exalted rank. It is also apparent from Henry’s unquestionably rousing speeches that Shakespeare intends for us to view Henry as a hero, or, at the very least, as an estimable king. Siegfried Sassoon on the other hand in his poem ‘hero’ seeks to reveal the facade and sad irony of the traditional image of the ‘war-hero’. Sassoon

Henry V: What Qualities Made Them The Greatest Hero King In English History

1518 words - 6 pages In Shakespeare's Henry V, Shakespeare presents what he portrays as the ideal king. Henry is what could be defined as the ultimate hero. The story of Henry V epitomizes England's idea of a good and fair king. Henry even calls his fellow soldiers his "brothers" to further emphasize the importance of a fair and humble king. He sets the precedent for the need for moral values and justifications in all people, especially a ruler of a country

Is Henry V A Flawed Hero?

881 words - 4 pages Is Henry V a Flawed Hero? Can Henry be perfect? Is it humanly possible to be perfect? Some characters in the play say that Henry perfect for example the Bishop of Canterbury says, "Hear him but reason in his divinity". This means you should listen to him and discuss his godliness. Others in the play, like the Dauphin, say that he is flawed he says Henry had a "vain and giddy youth". In this essay I am going to explore

"Dulce Et Decorum Est" By Wilfred Owen And "The Hero" By Siegfried Sassoon

984 words - 4 pages Siegfried Sassoon.Siegfried Sassoon was born in Weirleigh, Kent, England on September 8, 1886 into a leisurely society of country living.Sassoon enlisted in the military at the age of 28 just before the draft and was eventually assigned to the Royal Welch FusiliersThe war was hard on Siegfried and his family. Early in the war Sassoon's brother Hamo was fatally wounded at Gallipoli. Siegfried took vengeance for his brother's death by involving himself