Michael Williams is one of three soldiers who dared to visit King Henry V before the decisive battle of Azencourt. The meeting took place as a result of the secret walk of the monarch, disguised as homeless. While walking, the warlord heard a conversation between his officers about the chances of surviving on the battlefield. They do not even admit the thought of victory, hoping to return home alive.
Michael is of the opinion that the commander must be responsible not only for the tactics of attack but also for the souls of his charges. He is sure that the ruler is obliged by word and deed to maintain his own authority, like a father in front of his sons. He ends his speech by saying that few of us will be able to die with dignity. Contrary to him, Henry declares that the person himself is obliged to protect the integrity of his own soul.
The warrior expresses fears related to the fact that the monarch can pay off from death, in contrast to ordinary fighters. The protagonist of the play is convinced that the true leader will not allow himself such actions, choosing doom instead of shame. But Williams manifests himself as a subtle psychologist, arguing that the prince may be bold only in his speeches. When soldiers cut their throats, he is unlikely to intercede for them.
Henry replies that such a ruler is not a trustworthy individual. For Michael, his remark sounds ridiculous, because the royal retinue does not care about his own reputation. This is about the honor of the king, so Henry is ready to fight for it to the end. Rivals agree to resolve all the contradictions after the battle if they remain alive.
Having won the victory, the monarch offers Michael gold for showing courage. In fact, the Williams character represents the only challenge to the prince in the plot. The mind and simplicity of an ordinary soldier are opposed to Henry's conscience and worldview. The personal conflict with the overbearing ruler was resolved in favor of human but is shown as a gift of grace from above.
Michael Williams in the Essays