King Henry IV

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Book Review: Henry V William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1546. He was the third child to Mary and John Shakespeare and lived in the small, provincial town of Stratford-upon-Avon. He most likely attended the King's New School, of which usually employed Oxford graduates and was generally well respectd. After petty school, modern day pre-school, Shakespeare was moved to a higher level of learning in Grammar School. Here his literary foundation was set in motion as he studied the great artists Plautus, Ovid, Seneca, and Horace. Traces of these author's are present in most of his current works. Shakespeare, however, did not attend a University, but left school to become a playwright. At the age of 18 he married 26 year old Anne Hathaway, and even with their vast age difference, managed to bear 3 children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Seeking prestige with his plays, Shakespeare joined an acting troupe called the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Even at this early stage in his carreer, he was a success. In 1597, he managed to buy New Place, the second largest house in Stanford, and secured a coat of arms for his family. When the lease ran out on his Theatre however, Shakespeare and his crew were forced to travel from production to production. They did this until 1599, when the now famous Globe theatre opened with the play Julius Ceaser. Living through two monarchs, Shakespeare died under the reign of James I, and if not for the publication of the First Folio by John Hemings and Henry Condell we may have never been given the gift of his verse. At the age of 52, Shakespeare had explored all of man's emotions and depth, and being exhausted from his journey, he died on April 23, 1616, the same day as his birth. Henry V takes place during the Hundred Year's War between France and England. It starts off in London, at the castle of Henry, and then travels across the 18 mile English channel to Paris, where Charles VI, the king of France rules. It incorporates the battlefield as well as the home into it's setting. Following the characters of Henry V, the Duke of Exeter, Captain Fluellen, and Pistol as some of the few prominent figures in the play, a picture of life can be put together. Henry is by far Shakespeare's favorite hero. He makes him out to be a noble, courageous, and good king, but most of all the ideal Christian king.
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