0Examine The Development Of Ideas And Language In Henry Vs Agincourt Speech

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This speech of Agincourt is a speech that King Henry V delivers before the historic battle of Agincourt. Henry is trying to rally his forces and motivate his soldiers. Henry's forces are few with little weapons and equipments. Whereas in contrast to this the French forces are well equipped with a great number of soldiers. The English soldiers are feeling nervous and Henry seeks to encourage them and "˜conjure up the blood'. On the French side there is a lot of self-confidence, optimism and boasting. Henry expresses his passion and love for England and talks about honour, bravery and valour in fiery oratory. Henry has already prayed to the Almighty God before the battle and is hoping for the best if God is on his side, which he believes. Henry has already emerged victorious at Harfleur and is hoping for a similar victory.

Henry starts off his speech with talk of death, patriotism and honour.

Henry begins off with these three factors as they play a vital part in battle. Henry seems to have a very carefree attitude towards death. He says "˜If we are marked to die we are enow'. This will bring about some courage in the soldiers and take away the feeling nervousness as Henry uses such an attitude of care freeness. Henry then goes on to talk about honour. He twists the situation of few men in a clever way by saying "˜the fewer men, the greater share of honour'. He makes out as if it is good that there are few men as this, then each of them will have a greater share of honour. Henry also talks about patriotism as he says "˜to do our country loss'. In this opening part of the speech we can see happiness, pride, optimism and confidence and these are the sort of things Henry wants to establish in his soldiers.

In the second section of the speech Henry uses a conflict between honour and Gold. He does this by preferring honour to gold and therefore showing the people that he'd rather go into battle and honour himself and his country rather than greed for gold. Henry says that he does not care for wealth and how many people he feeds. He says "˜By Jove, I am not covetous for gold, Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost'. Here we can see an image of a rich king who doesn't care about his money being formed, an image of a king throwing away his money to his subjects. Conflicting with the gold Henry talks about honour. Henry says "˜But if it be a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive'. He uses the word "˜covetous' both times (once to covet gold "“ that he is not covetous and once for honour-that he is covetous). This shows that they are conflicting and Henry is trying to tell the people that honour is more important than gold. He is trying to show the people that he is not attacking France for wealth but for regaining his honour.

This section connects us to the previous one as Henry tells the soldiers to fight for honour and not to lose such a great honour fighting for your country. Henry urges the soldiers in the speech by stating "˜I would not lose so great an honour'. As Henry is saying it is honourable to fight for your country, England, the soldiers would be motivated and want to fight.

In this section Henry uses a lot of propaganda and attempts to change the hearts and minds of the English soldiers in a sly and cunning way. He is trying to make the English want to go to battle eagerly and he does this by saying that the one who does not want to fight, let him depart he will be given a purse of money for travel. By clearly stating "˜That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart. His passport shall be made, and crowns for convoy put in his purse' he manipulates the situation cleverly. He also goes on further by saying that he does not want to die in the company of man who doesn't want to die with him. Henry says "˜We would not die in that man's company, That fear's his fellowship to die with us'. When the soldiers here this they will not want to leave and would want to go ahead and fight with Henry.

In this section of the speech Henry talks about how this day will be remembered as St.Crispian's day and whom that lives on this day and comes safely home, will every year on the feast of this day remember this battle. Henry says "˜This day is called St.Crispian's day' He also says that on that day the soldier will strip his sleeve and show him the wounds and say "˜These wounds I had on St.Crispian's day'. Here we can see an image of the soldier stripping his sleeve and presenting the wound. He reminds his soldiers that God on his side so they are fighting for a good cause as he mentions St.Crispian as he was a religious saint.

In the last section of the speech Henry talks about brotherhood and unity and these are very important. He says that all the soldiers that fight on this day are his brothers. This is essential as Henry is a king and they are mostly peasants. They are different social classes. But Henry stills classifies them as brothers. He says "˜We few, we happy few. We band of brothers' Then he says "˜For he today that shed's his blood with me shall be my brother' Henry Vs speech is full of imagery, metaphors and similes. This speech is poetry and Shakespeare manipulates the language well to suit the purpose, which is motivation.

All these ideas and themes talk about the determination and the reasons why the English should go into the battle wholeheartedly and with spirit. The speech Henry V delivered is a speech of motivation.

As we look at the outcome of the battle and see that the English win with only 500 casualties and the French lose 7,000 men including a lot of nobles and leaders of France, it may seem that the speech may have actually worked and given the English soldiers the courage and valour to defeat the French. Shakespeare changes the numbers of the English casualties by a considerable amount, by stating that only 25 English died. This is, to show that the English won the battle gloriously and bravely. It was a great victory for Henry. A small "˜happy band of brothers' defeated a mighty army in the Battle of Agincourt, which is recorded in history as one of the greatest battles fought by Henry V.