Henry V: What kind of man was he?

Essay by girlfairy28High School, 11th gradeA+, April 2007

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GCSE Coursework Essay Ilham Mukhtar

What Kind Of Man Was Henry?

King Henry V's character in Shakespeare's play 'Henry V' is very ambiguous. He is very different in each and every speech he made. We see a completely new Henry in every one of the speeches. So to get a better understanding of his character I will be analyzing five of his major speeches form his play. In every speech, I will show how Henry uses different techniques to convey his thoughts, feelings and ideas.

His first speech in Act One, Scene Two is very impressing. He uses a wide range of techniques and carefully chosen words to convey his message. In this scene he is presented by a message and a gift form the Dauphin, the eldest son of the French King. The gift is a box consisting of half a dozen tennis balls. This implies that Henry is still a kid, incapable of ruling a country and therefore should just go and play games.

This joke is an insult to the king and would certainly fill anyone with anger. However, this is not the case with the king. He does not burst with rage, in fact he stays calm and silent, proving that he is not a kid anymore, while he thinks of a reply to that insult. He comes up with a very intelligent way of converting this insult into his victory. He starts off sarcastically saying "We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us/His present and your pains we thank you for". Although we know that six balls don't take that much of an effort to carry and nor is his gift 'pleasant'. He also uses the royal 'we' instead of 'I' implying that the insult is to the whole country...