Shakespeare's Attitude Toward Henry V in the Second Tetralogy

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literature, Shakespeare, Henry V, literary criticism, character development, historical background


Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature | European History | Literature in English, British Isles | Playwriting


This paper will examine Henry V as Shakespeare characterized him in the second tetralogy, with particular emphasis on Henry V, which culminates Henry's character development. My interpretation assumes that Shakespeare's attitude toward this character may be detected through careful examination of Henry in the three plays in which he appears (1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV, and Henry V). I aim to show that Shakespeare's projection of Henry V does not reveal him as the ideal epic-hero but as a character who is inconsistent, insecure, guilt-ridden, and thoroughly human, a man who embraces the problems and responsibility of power and does his best to deal with them.

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