How would an audience react to "Henry" at the end of Act 1, Scene 2?

Essay by blademaster January 2004

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In the history play, Henry V by William Shakespeare, Henry is portrayed as being a good orator and he has all of the qualities of a good king. He is patriotic, cunning, diplomatic and strategic in war. This helps him in inspiring his troops and comeback from the insults said by the Dauphin. In the play there are many references to Henry's youth and it is shown how much he has matured since then.

Henry won the battle of Agincourt because he had the qualities of a good king. He was very optimistic in ruling France. He says, "Ruling in large and ample empery o'er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms." He implies that he will rule France and he says this even before the war has even started, which shows his optimism. He also says "...her almost kingly dukedoms..." This suggests that France is not kingly yet but will be when Henry rules.

A quality of being a good king is being a Christian and Henry makes it clear to his men that this is God's war. This is shown by, "...God's help" and "...we are no tyrant but a Christian king." This shows that Henry is not a dictator but is serving God by going to war with France. He is also proposing a just reason to go to war with France and this persuades the people to follow what he is doing.

When Henry is insulted by the Dauphin Henry responds well. "We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us." Henry is doing the opposite of what someone would normally do. He keeps his cool in a measured response of a great insult. This is showing the Dauphin that he is mature and he doesn't act like a child would when insulted. Henry then...