Henry V

Submitted By ollieashworth
Words: 1870
Pages: 8

Henry V Aspects Of A Leader
To what extent is Henry V presented as an effective leader
Since Henry IV Parts One and Two, Henry has developed into a much better leader and king, due to the improvement in many of his key characteristics.
When we first see Hal, in Henry IV part 1, he does not strike the audience as a leader; for he keeps extremely bad company in his two friends Falstaff and Poins who are both criminals. When they are all in the tavern in Henry IV, the audience gets the chance to see what people think of him at that point in time, and it is not positive. He shows that he has very few qualities of a leader, such as the lack of respect that he is given, “by the lord, I’ll be a traitor then, when thou art king”, this illustrates how even Henry’s friends will not respect him when he is king. In Henry IV part 2, Henry once again shows how in his youth he does not have aspects of a leader; in the bar scene when Henry is plotting to rob his friend Falstaff, and when Henry says “This doll Tearsheet should be some road” this is him hinting that the barmaid is like a prostitute and is used up like a road. Both of these moments in Henry IV part 2 show how when he was younger Henry was not very humane or a good example to followers as a king should be. Another impression the audience gets of Hal is that he does not really care about religion, an important quality for a king. He says “Then art thou damn’d for cozening the devil” this is only a part of the conversation they have that is about the devil. Henry seems to change like he has had an epiphany as soon as he finds out that his father has died, in Henry IV part 2. “This new and gorgeous garment, majesty”, when he says this he isn’t talking about his new clothes, he is talking about how he has acquired majesty and responsibility. The whole impression of Henry changes in the Chorus of Henry V, the first mention of the king who is “the war like Harry, like himself, assume the port of Mars and at his heels leashed in, like hounds should famine, sword and fire (I.0.5)” is aggressive. This gives the audience a dominating sense of the king in how he now has power to control war, and how he is so warlike that he is like Mars the Roman god of war. This displays a sense of true leadership in Henry, even though Chorus is exaggerating. Henry is made to look a lot better than he actually is “On this unworthy scaffold, to bring forth so great an object (I.0.10)” this is saying how Henry is too great for the stage and it is unworthy of him and his divinity.
In the first scene tof Henry V, the audience gets a sense of Henry’s newly formed faith “the king is full of faith, and fair regard, and a true lover of the holy church (1,1,22)”. Grace meaning Christian goodness, and turns the focus to him being a true lover of the holy church. Being religious is a beneficial aspect as the people would have been able to relate to him, equally so would the audience watching. This also give the audience an insight as to Henry being a divine ruler. Henry gives a much larger view of how he uses his religion to be a more effective leader in the war scenes. At the battle of Harfleur, Henry has one last attempt to win over his men to do one more final push and in his speech on the last lines refers to God “Cry God for, Harry, England and Saint George (iii,1,34)”. He does this to get his men believing that through Henry and God they can survive. Another moment where Henry uses God to help him lead is before the battle of Agincourt he says “thou pleases, god dispose the day (IV, iv,133)”, this is Henry entrusting God to help win the battle, and shows how he acts through God. The most humane example of his divinity is after the Agincourt battle when he states that “God fought for us (IV,VIII,115)” in this the audience sees that Henry is not selfish. He says God won the battle not him, this shows belief and faith, and his humanity. Henry tells the men that “the dead with charity enclos’d in