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Battle Of Agincourt Analysis

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The Battle of Agincourt in 1415 is one of the most famous battles in history. Made popular by Shakespeare's play Henry V, many people have forgotten or are unaware of the true details of the actual battle. Myriad details have never been satisfyingly resolved. One of the controversies involves the fact that Henry V ordered the deaths of the French prisoners that he had gained during the battle. According to most historians, Henry commanded his soldiers to kill the prisoners after the battle was already won, though he may or may not have realized it at the time. In regard to this fact, researchers have called Henry everything from a clever strategian to a cruel tyrant. There are a few eyewitness accounts, called chronicles, but…show more content…
As historians continually attempt to piece together all the mismatched details of these chronicles, trying to determine which are true and which are myth, there are many differing views about the circumstances of the battle and the character of Henry V that might shine a light on Henry's original motives. Chronicles That Support the Justification of Henry V's Order Since the Battle of Agincourt was a world-famous skirmish, there have been sundry opinions on what exactly occurred at that point in history, and as with any historical event, there are numerous conflicting accounts of the same story. Some narratives claim to be written by eyewitnesses, which may or may not be true. Consequently, historians debate long and hard over whether these accounts accurately represent the actual event. Most accounts created after all the participants in this stage of history were dead are probably less likely to be accurate, and may have a few details that were changed; however, the play Henry V (Shakespeare, William, 1599) by Shakespeare is worth BRITISH VICTORY AT AGINCOURT 4 mentioning because it can give some insights into the character of Henry that the current…show more content…
Shakespeare introduces the notion that Henry commissioned his invasion of France upon the instability of his position on the throne as his main focus, as well as his claim to the French throne. Therefore, his determination was authentic, possibly making him resolve to win at all costs as he faced the French army that reputably was much larger than his own. According to Shakespeare's tale, the killing of the prisoners during the battle of Agincourt seems to have been induced by a sudden panic on the part of Henry V when he heard a sudden commotion and realized that his army was being attacked from behind, just as his victory seemed assured. While this latter concept corresponds fairly well with the original accounts, Shakespeare's rendition of the event must be handled with caution as historical fiction, not historical fact. Additionally, in the play, immediately before this happens, he hears a vivid account of how one of his relatives died in the battle, and his grief may have played a part in the suddenness of the order (Shakespeare, 1599, Henry V, Act IV, Scene VI) Five accounts currently exist that have survived from the time of the battle in which the
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