Henry V Study Guide

Henry V Study Guide

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“Henry V” is a play by a great English author devoted to the life and personality of a great King Henry the Fifth. It is a historical text of an author who has been close to royal families and made his career thanks to that fact.

Normally historical books don’t begin with the characters. But this is a unique play both in terms of language and style. The book is devoted to life and actions of the King, it also goes deep into his childhood, education and upbringing, character and personality traits.

Henry the Fifth is either loved and admired or hated and considered to be a tyrant. So who is this man who died at the age of 35? He grew up in a loving family, which was rare for the marriage of that time. Thanks to his father the man learned to be a good soldier and his mother taught him music.

The plot begins at the time when his father, Henry IV dies. The young ruler has to abandon his careless and turbulent life to protect the well-being of England. The war with France begins. The events intensify with each next page as the ruler faces difficult decisions. He makes both rational and irrational moves, which shows him as a human being. He proves to be a great politician, a skilled warrior, a strategist and a visionary.

Finally, the Battle of Agincourt begins. It is in preparing his soldiers for the battle that the true talent of the King is revealed. He is finally one of the soldiers. Despite being outnumbered, the Brits win the battle.

When the reader gets to know Henry V from Shakespeare’s words, we might love or hate him, but we can’t disagree with the author when he wrote that the King lived as long as he needed to make sure his reputation was eternal.

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