Essay about William Shakespeare 's Henry V

1634 Words Feb 29th, 2016 7 Pages
Authors, whose motives have been either to educate or entertain, have been writing about politics for centuries. Often, these writings can operate as textbooks for the study of contemporary political science. William Shakespeare’s Henry V is a prime example of how timeless political writing continues to influence politics hundreds of years later. Although written for entertainment value, Shakespeare’s play was distinctly influenced by the former political writings of his time. Subsequently, Shakespeare’s Henry V, in turn, influenced American President John F. Kennedy who continually quoted the famous St. Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V to his staff (Leamer 479). The Kennedy Administration provides an example of pragmatic implementation of the Shakespearean approach to politics. Each time one sees a play by Shakespeare, one is studying modern day politics. By the examination of the Kennedy Administration and Shakespeare’s Henry V, influenced by Machiavelli’s The Prince, one could see the similarities concerning the approaches taken toward national leadership. To first understand the principles behind Shakespeare’s Henry V, one must have a basic understanding of the extent Machiavelli’s The Prince, published 86 years prior, had on Shakespeare. Although Henry V possessed the positive public image Machiavelli lacked, historically and in Shakespeare’s play, he followed Machiavelli’s principles for maintaining authority. Machiavelli’s The Prince, a guide to maintaining…

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