Shakespeare's Portrayal of Henry V as the Model Monarch
In this essay I intend to show that Shakespeare portrays Henry as the
Classic Sovereign as he is patriotic, brave, cunning, religious,
natural leader & in touch with the lower class of the country. I will
use quotes and remarks in the play to show this and present it. I
shall firstly do a summery of the play and give a basic image of what
it contains, and then give a detailed analysis, which will give a more
detailed view of particular scenes to show how Shakespeare shows
Henry's character and finally I shall make a conclusion to present my
evidence, to show that Henry is presented as a model monarch.
The play is based around Henry V's later life after he has become
monarch. He is shown in the plays forerunner Henry IV were he is a
young prince he is shown as an insurgent young future king. He Drinks
with a group of lowlifes from the criminal underworld of London and
visits Brothels with them. However he is shown to have fitted into the
role of King perfectly, and the play Henry V shows the most successful
years of his life, in his campaign to gain France.
The Chorus asks the audience to excuse the limitations of the theatre
and to use their imaginations to conjure up the great events, which
are to be presented in the play.
ACT I. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely are anxious
about a proposed bill, which would transfer a vast deal of the
Church's property to the King. The Archbishop hopes that he may have
averted this by the offer of a sizeable amount of money. We hear that
the Kings disposition has significantly enhanced since he has come to
The two churchmen are called before the King to give their
professional opinion on his claim to the crown of France. They give
historical and legal reasons why his claim is valid and encourage him
to go to France and seize what is his. Some of the nobles in
attendance support this view and, after making an allowance for the
threat of a Scottish offensive, Henry decides to invade France.
Ambassadors from the Dauphin deliver a rejection of his claims to
territory in France as Henrys claim is through a Female, and an
insulting gift of tennis balls. The letter coming from the Dauphin is
an insult in itself, as it is saying Henry is not important enough to
receive a message from the King of France. Henry sends a menacing
reply in response to this insult, saying that the Dauphin will bear
responsibility for a great deal of death and destruction. He then
tells his nobles to prepare for war with France.
ACT II. The Chorus describes the excitement as the army gets ready to
depart from Southampton, but he warns that there are traitors in the
We witness a quarrel between Pistol and Nym over Nell Quickly, who was
supposed to be...