Henry V Essay

Submitted By cmoore1966
Words: 1372
Pages: 6

“The gentlest gamester is the soonest winner” (Branagh, 1989). These are perhaps some of the best words of advice presented in the film Henry V. As Prince Harry, now Henry V takes the position as the King of England, many felt that he was unprepared and lacked a strong enough reputation to hold the title effectively. We learn fairly early in the movie that the naysayers were wrong in their assumptions. Henry V quickly showed his values, convictions and stayed true to his vision for his country. In the first act, Henry shows that he has a conscience by trying to determine if the cost of war is worthy in comparison to his goal of taking the throne of France. He has a strong commitment to the church and Archbishop. He asked the Archbishop to make a public statement supporting his decision to go to war. Henry is trying to earn respect and overshadow the immature and youthful reputation that preceded him. When the Dauphin sends a message that is intended to insult Henry, he had his first opportunity to show maturity. Henry calmly yet sternly replied to the insult and his followers start to take him seriously in his quest. Henry first proves to be a fair and creative leader when he learned of the treason committed by his friends Scroop,, Cambridge and Grey. He begins his conversation with them by asking their opinion of mercy. He tells them that an offender of a minor crime could be released if Henry chooses to show mercy on him. The three men tell him there is no mercy for offenders, no matter the size of the offense. Henry then confronts them of their crimes and they beg for mercy. He was able to spout their own words back at them and ordered their execution. We see that he was almost allowing them to determine their own fate, and was fair in his sentence. He was able to remove his personal feelings of friendship from the equation and look at the big picture. He feared that the security of the nation was at risk and he did what was best for his country. Henry meets with the governor of Harfleur and is stern in his suggestion that the governor should surrender. Henry tells him that if he chooses not to surrender, he will turn his men loose on the city and they will show no mercy. They will rape women, murder elders and infants and take over Harfleur. The governor surrenders and tells Henry that the Dauphin is still not considering the Englishmen as a threat. When Henry sends his men into Harfleur he tells them to be kind to the French. This is an indicator that he has a leadership style that takes compassion and humanity into consideration. He is transforming into an authentic leader at this point and we can see that he is genuine in his pursuit. Bardolf was one of Henry’s childhood friends and was arrested for stealing a “pax” from the church. Pistol asks Fluellen to speak up on Bardolf’s behalf and ask for mercy. Fluellen realizes that discipline is important and he refuses the request saying that order must be maintained. When Bardolf is brought before Henry, we see Henry as a leader. Henry sentences Bardolf to be hanged and once again has separated his personal friendship from the crime committed. Henry chose his leadership responsibility and his dedication to his quest over the longtime friendship with Bardolf. Henry’s interaction with Montjoy shows his honesty and determination to his vision. He advises Montjoy that his men are weak and sick. He tells Montjoy that in the shape they are in they will not seek a battle, but in that same shape they will not back down from one either. He is gaining self-confidence and it is becoming apparent that he will succeed. The Dauphin is portrayed as arrogant and unconcerned with the impending war with Henry. He is discussing the battle on the eve before the fight and the conversation quickly turns to their horses, their armor and their mistresses. Once the Dauphin steps away, the three remaining begin to