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Henry's Speeches in William Shakespeare's Henry V

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Henry's Speeches in William Shakespeare's Henry V


I will be writing about how Henry V wins the hearts of his men.
Using, five main speeches that Henry V makes. I think that Henry won
the hearts of his men by persuasion. Beforehand, I would like to
apologize because I may talk about what ‘Henry’ says but I truly know
this is what Shakespeare wrote.

In the first speech the Dauphin presented Henry V with a set of tennis
balls as a joke and insult. He was suggesting that Henry was a ‘child’
and not fit for being a king. I expected Henry V to be angry and yell
with frustration but I noticed a sudden silence before Henry started
his speech; it seemed as though he was collecting his thoughts and
thinking how to answer Dauphin’s so called, “joke.” Henry used that
time exceptionally wisely, he starts off with alliteration (which he
also uses in Speeches 3, 4 and 5), “Pleasant/ Present/ Pains.” These
words may sound calm and polite, but all these words need to be said
with clenched teeth. I found the line 290, Act One Scene 2,
interesting where Henry says, “…dazzle all the eyes of France, Yea
strike the Dauphin blind to look us,” Henry compares himself to the
sun: so bright and successful that the Dauphin would not be able to
look up to him, making the Dauphin feel inferior. Henry here plays
splendidly with words as we can see throughout the play, “Turn his
balls to gunstones,” Henry changes something as harmless and simple as
tennis balls into weapons of destruction. Henry is often religious and
spiritual in his speeches. Here he says, “and soul shall stand sore…”
he attacks the Dauphin n...


... middle of paper ...


...e me thinks, me/ fear, fellowship,” once again to give a
rhythm to his speech and it makes one think about the words said.
Henry names the day, “Feast of Crispin’s Day,” to me that sounded more
of emotional blackmailing than encouragement. Henry says that if they
win this battle they would be as common as, “household words.”
Shakespeare utilizes the technique of ‘use of three’, “We few, we
happy few, we band of brothers,” making it easier for his soldiers to
trust him, making him sound more trustworthy. He uses emotional
blackmail again as well, “Shall be my brothers.”

I admired how different each speech is. I found it inspiring how
Shakespeare can make Henry sound so trustworthy, sensitive and
compassionate and two minutes later he can change the way one seems
Henry just by the words he says.


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