“Small time, but in that small most greatly lived this star of England”
“Small time, but in that small most greatly lived this star of England”

“Small time, but in that small most greatly lived this star of England”

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  • Published: June 25, 2018
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In Henry V, the king is referred to as the star of England. I think that this is because he was seen as a leading light and that many great things were done by him. When thinking of a star, it also gives a sense of security to know that something so great is watching over you.

Henry referred to as a star, can also give the sense of being distant, but he definitely didn’t believe that he was unapproachable however tried to be as welcoming and as amicable as possible.So, what made Henry such a good ruler? Well, in this play, Shakespeare proposes that the qualities that define a good ruler aren’t necessarily the qualities that define a good person. Henry is an extraordinary leader seeing as he is extremely educated, focused and regularly inspires his men. Also, he would use any and all of his resources to his disposal to achieve his goals. Henry’s inter personal skills are outstanding in how he is able to connect to his individuals and to motivate them in achieving his goals thereby making him an excellent king. By inspiring his men to win the Battle of Agincourt despite overwhelming odds, Henry achieves heroic status.Due to Henry’s upbringing which was somewhat wild and had a common touch to it, it taught him many things such as communication with his fellow comrades and other useful social skills. But with the death of his father (Henry IV) pending, Henry realised that with his behaviour, he didn’t have a way forward as a Monarch.

At which point, Henry started to get into gear as Canterbury says within lines 24 – 36 in Ac

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t 1 Scene 1.”The causes of his youth promised it not.The breath no sooner left his father’s bodyBut that his wildness, mortified in him,Seemed to die too……

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….Leaving his body as a paradise”And also in lined 60 – 63 where Henry’s nurture was given a more pictorial image by Ely”The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,And wholesome berries thrive and ripen bestNeighboured by fruit of baser quality”Shakespeare uses what I believe to be a very good metaphor describing the ambience that Henry grew up in as ‘baser quality’ referring obviously to the acquaintances that he had at the time.The conflict against France began with many of Henry’s ancestors and this speech is given by Henry to the bishops and people of his realm discussing his rights to land in France. He shows consideration for normal folk in lines 13 – 20 which shows that he is a reasonable man.”And god forbid, my dear and faithful lord,That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,Or nicely charge your understanding soulWith opening titles miscreate, whose rightSuits not in native colours with the truth;For God doth know how many now in healthShall drop their blood in approbationOf what your reverence shall incite us to.

“In this speech, Henry is saying how he does not want to risk or sacrifice any of his soldiers for pursuits which aren’t completely justified.During act 1 scene 2, Henry shows us once again that his linguistic skills are worthy of a scholar. The kings repl

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to the dauphin’s insults and his ‘gift’ of tennis balls communicated by the ambassador of France is a very elaborate speech and Henry on the whole splits this speech into 3 main segments. His main point that he wants to reach across is that he once did have his wilder days but now is a changed man and also the king of England thus he must be taken seriously.Part 1 is where he accepts that he had is wilder days (270 – 274)”We never valued this poor seat of England,And therefore, living hence, did give ourselfTo barbarous licence; as ’tis ever commonThat men are merriest when they are from home.”Part 2 is telling how he is now a changed man and how he has moved on from those wilder days and is now as legitimate as the French king. (274 – 278)”But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,Be like a king, and show my sail of greatness,When I do rouse me in my throne of France. Etc.

“In the third and final part, he decrees his ability as a king and that the Dauphin will pay for his offence and underestimation. (279 – 298)”That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of hisHath turned his balls into gun stones……

“Henry also had the skill to turn what seemed a very bad situation, into a glorious victory such as the situation he found himself in when there were the conspirators against him. Initially, he would let the conspirators seal their own fate by through the model of the drunkard disrespecting the king and condemning the man, they condemn themselves. Secondly, he condemns them with crimes they had committed as if they were being briefed for the war against the French. (66 – 76)”Read them, and know I know your worthiness…..

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……Why, how now, gentlemen?What see you in those papers, that you loseSo much complexion? Look ye, how they change!”Henry’s uniting abilities emerge once again when at the battle of Harfleur. Instead of being that distant star and elevating himself above the rest of his men, he dialogues as if he was one of them which meant that he created a sense of bonding or companionship as an example the speech in act 3 scene 1, the opening and the closing phrases are astonishing.

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