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Henry V

William Shakespeare

Book Overview: 

After the turmoil and uncertainty of Henry IV a new era appears to dawn for England with the accession of the eponymous Henry V. In this sunny pageant, the Chorus guides us along Henry's glittering carpet ride of success as the new king completes his transformation from rebellious wastrel to a truly regal potentate. Of course, there is an underlying feeling that the good times won't last, and this is all the more reason to enjoy the Indian summer before the protracted and bitter fall of the house of Lancaster.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Nym, Pistol, Mrs. Quickly, and Boy.] These followers of Falstaff figured conspicuously through the two parts of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Pistol is a swaggering, pompous braggadocio; Nym a boaster and a coward; and Bardolph a liar, thief, and coward, who has no wit but in his nose.

23 Enter Chorus.

Cho. Now all the youth of England are on fire,

And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies:

Now thrive the armourers, and honour’s thought

Reigns solely in the breast of every man:

They sell the pasture now to buy the horse;

Following the mirror of all Christian kings,

With wingéd heels, as English Mercuries;

For now sits expectation in the air.

O England!—model to thy inward greatness,

Like little body with a mighty heart,—

What might’st thou do, that honour would thee do,

Were all thy children kind and natural!

But see thy fault! France hath in thee found ou. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Do I hear the drums of war? Hal has drawn all the attention away from divided England with a time-honored ploy of kings of any unsure stripe... Let's kick the shit out of France!

Even though Henry V is a bright light and his fortunes burn ever brighter, it's hard to go through this story without feel

Henry V by William Shakespeare is the fourth instalment of the Plantagenet tetralogy. This play follows on nicely on from the rise of Prince Hal/Harry to the throne to become King Henry V. We remember Henry V as the young beer swilling drinking mate of Sir John Falstaff – a regular at the Boar’s Hea

On my initial read, this was likely my least favorite of the long cycle of plays from Edward III to Richard III. But with time, my opinion has improved. It starts and ends with a chorus and is primarily about Henry V's short, violent reign, his defeat of the French at Agincourt, and his death. I rea

Henry V is indeed the grand finale of Shakespeare’s second historical tetralogy, right after Henry IV, Part 2. Here, exit Falstaff, whose death is recounted by Mistress Quickly in the first act, and we are now in the presence of a conquering and “warlike Harry”, who is like chalk and cheese when com

A young dynamic king, in his late twenties very ambitious wants and needs to become ruler of two significant nations, the King , Henry v , of England, by a dubious claim has come to conqueror France in the name of peace... he destroys. His father, Henry IV, an usurper murdered his own first cousin t

If ever I had to have a crush on an actual English King, it might have been Henry V. It probably would have been in vain since he doesn't seem to have had much affection for anyone but who cares. The scandalous youth vanished some time before Henry IV died and when Henry V was crowned king, he showe

Sure, it's a jingoistic pageant, but it's a great jingoistic pageant, and--besides--it is the most melancholy,ironic, self-aware--and laugh-filled--jingoistic pageant ever staged.

In Act V, Henry tells Katherine that together they will produce a son, and that this warlike paragon of chivalry will ma

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