William Shakespeare's Henry V Essay

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William Shakespeare's Henry V

Shakespeare's, Henry V, was written in the late sixteenth century, this composition will focus upon how Shakespeare portrayed Henry V, using factual knowledge and Shakespeare's own interpretation. I will look at the character, language, structure and history of the play.

Most Shakespearian, historical, plays were based upon Holinshead's Chronicles, these were mostly true but often Shakespeare adjusted the figures and facts to emphasise parts of his play's, and create tension and drama, such as when he is attempting to woo Katherine, to make a more interesting play. Many of Shakespeare's plays were historical, based upon actual happenings. Henry V was one of these
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At the beginning of the play the Bishop reminds Ely that Henry was once wild and offensive, "The breath no sooner left his fathers body but that his wildness, mortified in him seemed to die too: yea, at that very moment consideration, like an angel came and whipped the offending Adam out of him."

However Ely refers to the good in Henry, "The strawberry groweth underneath the nettle" Ely is saying that Henry was still growing, surrounded by people who are bad, but is still a good person underneath that eventually blossomed and became a good person. This is a good example of Shakespeare's imagery. He needed lots of imagery as the stage and scenery were very sparse and the actors were nothing more than peasants. Prologues in a number of Elizabethan plays were used to set the scene, give important information and ask the audience for applause. Acting during these times was also incredibly poor, so prologues helped compensate for this. Shakespeare's interpretation of Henry V makes him a very controversial character. On one side he makes Henry look like a heroic figure, on the other, a ruthless, uncaring king. This shows that Shakespeare tried to make the play more realistic, by showing the Henry was not just good or bad, but changed his attitudes to accommodate different situations. Examples of this can be found when before the great battles in which he manipulates
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