Henry V

Sathya Singh
Dr. Elizabeth Delmonico
English 250
Henry V

“The need for Words”

In Shakespeare’s Henry V the protagonist, King Henry, uses several inspirational speeches to instill a sense of honour, bravery, and other passionate characteristics in people, his own men or otherwise. Though Henry delivers many long-winded monologues in this play, he understands the power of words in persuasion and eliciting actions. At times, his speeches are meant to stir men’s morale, as with the speech at the Battle of Harfleur in Act III, and before the Battle of Agincourt in Act IV; other times they are meant to intimidate, as when he speaks to the French ambassadors in Act I or the ...

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his forces and motivate his soldiers. Henry's army are at a severe disadvantage; they are not well trained or particularly courageous. In his speech, the King’s passion and love for England is shone through his discourse on honour, bravery and valour. In stark contrast to this, French forces are well equipped with a great number of soldiers. Understanding the need to “conjure up the blood” and “stiffen the sinews” (3.i.7). Unlike the English, the French Noblemen sit and talk of “horses and armour” (3.vii.8), completely unperturbed by the threat of the English invasion.
Henry starts off his speech with talk of death, patriotism and honour. However, the King seems to have a very carefree attitude towards death stating: “If we are mark'd to die we are enow”. This attitude instills a sense of peace in his men; if the King is so calm and collected, why should his soldiers act or feel differently? Henry uses wordplay to idealize the concept and importance of honor and how “the fewer ...

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soldiers in a sly and cunning way. He tries to make the English want to go to battle eagerly and he does this by saying that anyone that does not wish to fight simply mustn't and will, even further, be given money to travel home. Expounding on this statement, the King decides that he does not want to die in the company of man who doesn't want to die with him.When the soldiers hear this they cannot bear to leave their King to fight by himself.
In addition, Henry dreams, and indeed, puts those dreams into a movingly worded continuation of the speech, about how this day will be remembered as St.Crispian's day and whom that lives on this day and comes safely home, will every year on the ...

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Added: 3/12/2014 06:09:46 PM
Submitted By: mejinsai
Category: Shakespeare
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2247
Pages: 9

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