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The Chorus In Shakespeare's Henry V

Decent Essays
The Chorus

Though he may seem annoying and unnecessary at times, the Chorus in Shakespeare’s Henry V is actually a very important aspect of the play. The Chorus represents a door for the audience’s imagination to spring into. He challenges the audience to look beyond the theaters’ four walls, and picture the rolling hills of France or the vast battle that took place in Agincourt. But in all the glory he gives to the play, the Chorus also spreads a new perspective as well.
The Chorus is similar to an opening scene in a movie, it opens first with an attention grabbing moment, then introduces the protagonist. Just like in a movie, the Chorus provides the principal imagery that a Shakespearean theater cannot produce.
Can this cockpit hold
…show more content…
Or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt? (Prologue.12-15)
The Chorus also gives information that would otherwise not be in the play. In the prologue of Act 2, the Chorus notifies the audience that Lord Scroop, Sir Thomas Grey, and The Earl of Cambridge have accepted payment from France in order to kill King Henry.
“Have, for the gilt of France (O guilt indeed!),
Confirmed conspiracy with fearful France” (2.26-27).
These lines also exhibit Shakespeare’s play on words, in which the word gilt means gold and the word guilt signifies that France is guilty of attempting to murder King Henry. In this way the Chorus also influences the audience's reaction to the play in many ways. He hands the audience a glowing picture of Henry V as “the mirror of all christian kings,” when Henry is truly just as broken a man as any other. Another example is when the Chorus evaluates the opposing camp’s nighttime activities before the battle. The French camp is:
Piercing the night's dull ear, and from the tents
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation:
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do
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