Henry 5













Henry 5

Henry 5 is one of Shakespeare’s thrilling dramas written and produced in 1599. It respects and outlines a model of a perfect king who presents the following qualities; kindness, wisdom, justice and courage. However, there are instances where he presents less praiseworthy characteristics among kings that are contrary to the ideology of an ideal king. Claiming that he is a villain would be an exaggeration but neither can he be as perfect as an ideal leader should. Although Henry 5 displays virtues of an idyllic king, certain aspects within the play are missing.

The defining and central element of the play bases on Shakespeare’s characterization of Henry 5. However, the playwright fails to present his main character as an ideal king. For instance, the king entraps his friends and charges them with treason with the knowledge that the accusation was false. This shows that he lacked wisdom in his decision-making. He also threatens to punish Harfleur by killing their babies and places an order that the French captives to be killed. His lack of courage drove this decision because the existence of the captives threatened his kingdom. Furthermore, he had his friend; Bardolf hanged, showing that he was not compassionate.

As much as Shakespeare tries to display Henry 5 as an ideal king, description of his main character differ from his main point. The driving force to this technique is important in understanding the play. Having displayed these less commendable characteristics shows that Shakespeare’s main point was that no one is perfect regardless of their position or status. Moreover, the actions of the king displays as a renaissance king because of the notable similarities between the two.









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