Critical Analysis Of Henry V

Decent Essays

Henry V is the last of the eight history plays that Shakespeare wrote about the Hundred Years War, and is a pivotal moment in the whole series. It is technically the third installment of the series but was written last. The play takes place right after King Henry V is crowned king of England. Due to his past of not being the most royal prince, Henry wants to prove his worth, by making claims on how he should rule France as well. We see Henry’s journey through both of Henry IV, as a dissolute youth, but soon comes into his own, a reformed character, as the greatest warrior king in England.
Throughout the play, we are informed on how the war with France was started, with multiple major battles, especially The Battle of Agincourt, and what happens after. What is most unique about Henry V, is that Shakespeare uses an old theatrical tool, a chorus, to help tell the story. This was a dramatic tool used by Ancient Greek Theatre. It was a group of masked performers who looked like, and spoke all at the same time. The chorus was there to be the voice for the people and move the story along. Shakespeare used the chorus in a very different way than the Greek and was something he never really used before in his plays. The chorus is completely self-aware that they are in the play and talk about how theatre can’t be used to replicate these major battles; that we need to use our imaginations to tell the story. Some great ways that he utilized the chorus was with the time frame.

Get Access