• You are a
new, young, untested
• Your people have no
faith in you to lead
• In order to win their
trust, you will need to
lead them into war, and
conquer your enemies.
• Your foes outnumber
you five to one…
• Henry V is a history
play by William
Shakespeare, believed to have
been written in approximately
• Its full titles are The Cronicle
History of Henry the fift (in
the First Quarto text) and The
Life of Henry the Fifth (in
the First Folio text).
• It tells the story of King Henry
V of England, focusing on
events immediately before and
after the Battle of
Agincourt (1415) during
the Hundred Years' War.
• The play is the final part of
a tetralogy, preceded
by Richard II, Henry IV, Part
1 and Henry IV, Part 2.
• The original audiences would
thus have already been familiar
with the title character, who
was depicted in the Henry
IV plays as a wild, undisciplined
lad known as "Prince Harry"
and by Falstaff as "Hal".
• In Henry V, the young prince
has become a mature man and
embarks on a successful
conquest of France.
• Henry V (16 September 1386 – 31 August 1422)
was King of England from 1413 until his death at
the age of 35 in 1422. He was the second English
monarch who came from the House of Lancaster.
• After military experience fighting various lords
who rebelled against his father, Henry IV, Henry
came into political conflict with the increasingly
ill king. After his father's death, Henry rapidly
assumed control of the country and embarked on
war with France.
• From an unassuming start, his military successes
in the Hundred Years' War, culminating with his
famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt, saw
him come close to conquering France.
• After months of negotiation, the Treaty of
Troyes recognized Henry V as regent and heir-
apparent to the French throne, and he was
subsequently married to Charles's
daughter, Catherine of Valois.
• Following Henry V's sudden and unexpected
death in France, he was succeeded by his infant
son, who reigned as Henry VI.
The cast is divided into three competing
• Henry V
• Duke of Gloucester – Henry's
• Duke of Bedford – Henry's brother
• Duke of Clarence – Henry's brother
• Duke of Exeter – Henry's uncle
• Duke of York – Henry's cousin; he is
the Duke of Aumerle of Richard II,
and the traitor Cambridge's brother;
• Archbishop of Canterbury
• Bishop of Ely
• Earl of Cambridge -Henry's cousin
• Lord Scroop
• Sir Thomas Grey
• King of France
• Queen Isabel
• Louis – their son, the Dauphin
• Katharine – their daughter
• The play is set in England in the early
fifteenth century. The political
situation in England is tense:
• King Henry IV has died, and his son, the
young King Henry V, has just assumed
• Several bitter civil wars have left the
people of England restless and
• Furthermore, in order to gain the
respect of the English people and the
court, Henry must live down his wild
adolescent past, when he used to
consort with thieves and drunkards at
the Boar’s Head Tavern on the seedy
side of London.
• Henry lays claim to certain
parts of France, based on his
distant roots in the French
royal family and on a very
technical interpretation of
ancient land laws.
• When the young prince, or
Dauphin, of France sends
Henry an insulting message in
response to these
claims, Henry decides to invade
France. Supported by the
English noblemen and
clergy, Henry gathers his troops
• The climax of the war comes at the
famous Battle of Agincourt, at which
the English are outnumbered by the
French five to one.
• The night before the battle, King
Henry disguises himself as a common
soldier and talks to many of the
soldiers in his camp, learning who
they are and what they think of the
great battle in which they have been
• When he is by himself, he laments his
ever-present responsibilities as king.
In the morning, he prays to God and
gives a powerful, inspiring speech to
• Miraculously, the English win the
battle, and the proud French must
surrender at last.
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention!
King Henry V. Prologue.
Consideration, like an angel, came
And whipped the offending Adam out of him.
King Henry V. Act i. Sc. 1.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start.
King Henry V. Act iii. Sc. 1.
Men of few words are the best men.
King Henry V. Act iii. Sc. 2.
There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
Would men observingly distil it out.
King Henry V. Act iv. Sc. 1.
Every subject’s duty is the king’s; but every
subject’s soul is his own.
King Henry V. Act iv. Sc. 1.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
King Henry V. Act iv. Sc. 3.
There is occasions and causes why and
wherefore in all things.
King Henry V. Act v. Sc. 1.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there ’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.
King Henry V. Act iii. Sc. 1.
• The histories were those plays based on the lives of English kings. Therefore they can
be more accurately called the "English history plays," a less common designation.
• King John
• Edward III
• Richard II
• Henry IV, Part 1
• Henry IV, Part 2
• Henry V
• Henry VI, Part 1
• Henry VI, Part 2
• Henry VI, Part 3
• Richard III
• Henry VIII
• There have been two major film
adaptations. The first, directed by and
starring Laurence Olivier in 1944, is a
colorful and highly stylized version which
begins in the Globe Theatre and then
gradually shifts to a realistic evocation of
the Battle of Agincourt. Olivier's film was
made during the Second World War and
was intended as a patriotic rallying cry at
the time of the invasion of Normandy.
• The second major film, directed by and
starring Kenneth Branagh in
1989, attempts to give a more realistic
evocation of the period and lays more
emphasis on the horrors of war. It features
a mud-spattered and gruesome Battle of
Agincourt. Where Olivier staged the comic
scenes as comedy, Branagh played them as
serious drama, because he felt the humor
was outdated and incomprehensible to
• There have also been three major
television adaptions, all made by
the BBC in England:
• The first was part of an abridged
Henriad entitled An Age Of Kings
in 1960. [VIDEO]
• The second was a 1979 BBC
Production as part of the
Complete Works of William
Shakespeare series. [VIDEO]
• The most recent was a new four-
film Henriad produced in 2012
entitled The Hollow Crown. [VIDEO]
• Despite being a play about a
war that occurred eight
hundred years ago,
Shakespeare wasn’t trying to
teach a history lesson.
• Instead, he entertained his
audiences with portraits of
vibrant characters and heroic
deeds from their past.
• Giving them human qualities
such as courage, honor, loyalty,
and brotherhood makes Henry
V still powerfully resonate with
A Nutsy the Squirrel Production
Copyright 2013 Oak Hills Media Center
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