William Shakespeare 's Henry V, The Victorious King Henry

1310 Words Dec 14th, 2016 6 Pages
Following the battle of Agincourt in Shakespeare’s Henry V, the victorious King Henry sits down for a meeting with Charles, the King of France to discuss the aspects of peace. During the negotiation, Henry asks for a private meeting with Katherine of Valois, the princess of France. In this, Shakespeare sets up a dialogue with dual interpretation, both existing simultaneously. The first, is a scene based on a plea for love. The second, however, suggests that each person is representative of a larger, international relationship, subject to conquest, deceit, and the achievement of political goals. This conversation opens with a relatively innocent (and romantic) dialogue, centered around the difficulty of the language barrier between King Henry and Kate. The king starts the dialogue very formally, and in perfect iambic pentameter, similar to how he speaks with the monarchs of France shortly before their exit. He is formal and polite. As Katherine struggles to understand his meaning, the King’s speech devolves and what occurs then is a progression of shifting meanings: “Do you like me, Kate?... I cannot tell vat is ‘like me’... An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel” (V.II.106-8). King Henry uses the word “like” as an attempt to better understand Kate and her feelings for him, but because of the disconnect between language and culture, she cannot comprehend his meaning. His language shifts again to something otherworldly and more imaginary. As the short exchange…
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