Shakespeare 's Seminal Classic Henry V Essay

753 Words Aug 17th, 2015 4 Pages
Shakespeare’s seminal classic Henry V is the culmination of the Henriad tetralogy, and is an allusion to the aphorism that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” for despite being renowned as a warrior king in the Bard’s tale, King Henry fought his battles with the mettle of his rhetoric rather than the metal of his blade. This can be seen in the way in which he utilises orotund oratory to intimidate the citizens of Harfleur into surrendering, but perhaps his most monumental use of magniloquence was when wooing the heart of Katherine. Love is a battlefield unto itself, and the way that Henry V wickedly twisted his words was analogous to the skill that the English soldiers displayed off-stage, on the battlefields of Agincourt. There are a number of reasons why Shakespeare elected to use eloquence as the weapon of choice in Act V Scene II, ranging from the placement in the play to the characters present within the scene itself. Additionally, there are meta analysis reasons such as Shakespeare’s portrayal of Henry V, and the limitations of production values of the time.

In Act V Scene II, Henry is seeking reparations from France, a trophy of his superiority, in the form of taking Katherine’s hand in marriage. “Yet leave our cousin Katherine here with us. She is our capital demand, comprised Within the forerank of our articles.” (V. ii. 97-99) The placement of this scene comes after the victory on the literal battlefields of Agincourt and serves as an insult to the injury that…

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