Henry V Represents the More Selfish Side

Henry V represents the more selfish side of Kingship” Shakespeare creates two ways for the audience to see King Henry V. One way is King Henry being a gracious, caring king. The other way Shakespeare has created for the audience to see is King Henry being a selfish, cold king. Many people do believe that King Henry V is depicted as a selfish and cold hearted king who is not concerned or worried about the human cost of war. I believe the contrary. I believe that King Henry V was a loving and caring King towards the people of his country and family.
In Act one scene one (line 39-40) Canterbury describes King Henry V as a thoughtful and devout ruler. “Hear him but reason in divinity, and all-admiring, with and inward wish, you would desire the king were made a prelate. ” This indicates that the people of his country appreciate him and sees him as a considerate and divine king. King Henry V always tryst to stand by his Kingdom and protect it however he can. As he notices the assassination plot of Scroop, Cambridge and Gray in act one scene two (line 76-79) he sentences them to death.
Though Scroop, Cambridge and Gray are his friends he still stands by his Kingdom to keep it safe. “The mercy that quick in us but late By your own counsel is suppress’d and kill’d. You must not dare for shame to talk of mercy, for your own reasons turn into your bosoms,” In act four King Henry V is sharing the concerns of the common soldiers. His bravery and courage are reflected in his soldiers; especially after his speech about ‘St Crispin’s Day’ In act four scene 3 (line 18-67). This day is called the feast of crispian. He that outlives this day and comes safe home… He shall see this day and live old age, will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors, And say ‘tomorrow is saint crispian…” This shows that King Henry V is heroic to his soldiers and gives them faith and courage by this speech showing high spirits and strength. After the Battle (Act 5 scene 2) King Henry V proposes to princess Katharine of France.

Though he has the power to force her to marry him, he decides to try to convince her by admiring her and telling her that she will have a good life with him as a husband. “But in loving me you should love the friend of France… I will have it all mine; and, Kate, when France is mine and I am yours, then yours is France, and you are mine. ” (line 167-169) Overall I think that King Henry V is a caring King with courage and a lot of Strength. He stands by his country and supports and protects it with all his faith and strength .

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