Use Of Characterization In Shakespeare's Henry V

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William Shakespeare’s elaborate use of characterization within the play Henry V. Proves suspicions that King Henry V did not believe the St. Crispin’s Day speech for his soldiers, but rather used it to further his own success. Shakespeare demonstrate this through the characterization of Henry. Shakespeare creates Henry to have characteristic such as, Henry’s immaturity, never to take the blame, his abuse of power through unnecessary games, and his deceiving and manipulative ways.
A characteristic of Henry, Shakespeare highlights throughout the play, is his need to assign blame. There are many accounts within the play where Henry is in a situation he could take responsibility for, but chooses to assign the blame to someone else. In Act 2 Scene
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This is his claim, his threatening and my message; 115 Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,

To whom expressly I bring greeting too.” (2.5.102-117)

In this message, he states that the future actions of him and his men will be at the fault of King Charles for not surrendering. He repeats this tactic again when confronted with what is one of the last of the French’s attempts for a negotiation. Angered by their repeated attempt to negotiate he says,
As send precepts to the leviathan

To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,

Take pity of your town and of your people,

Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command; 30 Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace

O 'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds

Of heady murder, spoil and villany.

If not, why, in a moment look to see

The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand 35 Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;

Your fathers taken by the silver beards,

And their most reverend heads dash 'd to the walls,

Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,

Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
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Shakespeare’s decision to give Henry such a vulgar and uncalled for speech, gives the reader a new opinion on Henry. This is the case because Henry list all those acts that he aware are inhuman, and that it will be his men performing them. Yet chooses to the put the blame the Governors whose people will be affected very negatively by those acts. Henry’s persistent need to assign blame shows the reader a sign of immaturity within Henry. Henry seen as immature has a negative affect on how he is viewed as a leader. If Henry’s people, see him as immature it can lead to suspicions he has not grown out of his old ways. (His old ways being in “Henry IV”, where henry is seen often drunk, sleeping around, along with being a theft and a liar). Shakespeare strategically uses Henry consistent need to assign blame as a symbol for immaturity. Henry not being full mature gives an impression to the reader his old selfish ways still resonate with him. Demonstrating to the reader his actions and words, are in the end, all for his on success.
Another distinct characteristic Shakespeare created Henry to have, was his tendency to abuse his power, by playing unnecessary games with his people. The irrelevance of these games, gives the impression Henry was merely playing them just to prove to those people he is the king, they are only commoners. The first occurrence of Henry using this tactic of trickery

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