The Role of the Chorus in Henry V by William Shakespeare

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The Role of the Chorus in Henry V by William Shakespeare The role of the Chorus in the Shakespeare's play, Henry V, is significant. Due to the subject matter that the play deals with, it is hard to present in the way that it deserves. The Chorus helps the audience follow the play by helping them to picture things as they were through the use of imagery. It uses descriptive language in describing events that take place in the play. The Chorus also helps in making the plot of the play flow together better by filling the time lapses that occur between acts due to the fact that the event being depicted in only a few hours actually occurred over several years, leaving some gaps between events. It also explains what happens in an act beforehand because the scenes switch around from place to place, and it can get confusing. The most important function of the Chorus is that it encourages the audience to be patient and reminds them to use their imagination to envision the events that occur in the play, to really imagine the royal courts of England and France, and to really imagine the battle scenes with all the horses and men. The prologue to the beginning of this play calls upon the "Muse" to help present the play. The chorus explains to the audience of the difficulties faced in presenting this play. It is difficult to transform a small stage to represent the English or French Courts, or the battlefield in France. They apologize, telling the audience, "But pardon, gentles all, the flat unraised spirits that hath dared on this unworthy scaffold to bring forth so great an object" (li 8-11). It is difficult to depict the life of King Henry V with all the honor and glory that he deserves when presenting it on the stage. ... ... middle of paper ... ...s. The Chorus has multiple functions in the play. In act I, it set the scene and prepared the audience of what to expect. In act II, the Chorus sets the plot for the conspiracy planned against the King. It also brings out one of the major themes that occurs throughout the play, honor. In act III, help out with the plot using imagery to help the audience to picture events taking place. The prologue to act IV sets the scene up for the battle. The Chorus also gives the audience some insight into the character of Henry V as well. The prologue to the last act fills in the lapse in time that occurred since the battle was won up to the point where Henry returns to France. The Epilogue closes the play with the Chorus reminding the audience that the event depicted is hard to present on stage due to lofty subject matter dealing with such a great man as King Henry V.
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