How Shakespeare Portrays the Character of the King in William Shakespeare's Henry V

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How Shakespeare Portrays the Character of the King in William Shakespeare's Henry V

By writing this play, Shakespeare was hoping to inspire the people of England because at that time there was a possible threat of war from Spain or Ireland. He was trying to create the feeling of patriotism so writing about Henry was a good idea because he was the epitome of a brave, courageous king. He was able to inspire his men to great victories such as the Battle of Agincourt, where the English won against the odds. Many of the English were tired, fatigued before the battle and they were up against the best French knights. This play was made into a film during the Second World War to inspire the British
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He says that Henry controls them like a man controlling his hound. Shakespeare continues this further by saying that they crouch at his side waiting for his command. Henry knows what his actions will bring. It suggests that Henry has the power to control the effects of war.

At this time the Church was in some of trouble. Canterbury tells Ely about a bill, which could take land away from the church. Henry is now a true man of the Church and is likely to support the Church. But even so the cunning Bishop of Canterbury has a plan that will divert his mind from the bill, and that is Henry's possible claims to land in France. He says to Ely 'For I have made an offer to his majesty'. If there is a war to get the land the Church will pay some money for the campaign. Also in the conversation between the bishops, it brings you up to date with what is currently happening.

Henry had spent his youth (known as Prince Hal) mixing with bad company, filling up his time with 'riots, banquets, sports' and did not behave like a prince or a possible future king. He was sociable who loved to go to public places, in particular taverns. Canterbury talks about Henry as if he were a strawberry that 'grows underneath the nettle'. By this he means that under the influence of his one-time friends Henry was behaving like a common person. But now under eye of the lords he was
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