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The Historical Accuracy of Henry V by William Shakespeare

The Historical Accuracy of Henry V

Henry V, written by William Shakespeare, is by far one of his more historically accurate plays. This play is the life of young King Henry V, who ascended to the throne after his father, Henry IV’s death. These times were much different for England, as Henry V was a noble lord whom everyone loved, whereas angry factions haunted his father’s reign. Shakespeare portrays a fairly accurate account of the historical Henry V, but certain parts are either inflated”deflated, or conflated to dramatize Henry V as a character suitable for a Renaissance audience.

The previous excerpt was provided so that the student could determine the focus of the essay. The complete essay begins below.

What’s he that wishes so? My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin. 1f we are marked to die, we are enow to do our country loss; and if to live, the fewer men, the greater share of honor. God’s will! I pray thee wish not one man more. By Jove, I am not covetous for gold, nor care I who doth feed upon my cost; it earns me not if men my garments wear; such outward things dwell not in my desires: but if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive. No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England. God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honor as one man more methinks would share from me for the best hope I have. 0, do not wish one more! Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host, that he which hath no stomach to this fight, let him depart; his passport shall be made, and crowns for convoy put into his purse; we would not die in that man’s company that fears his fellowship to die with us. This day is called the Feast of Crispian: he that outlives this day, and comes …

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… version of Henry’s court and Henry’s camp, the dramatic effect constituted, in its way, a reasonably accurate depiction of Henry’s achievement in England.” (Pilkington 1-2) I believe that Shakespeare’s Henry V contains more charm and less fanaticism than the true Henry V. Shakespeare has created a fairly accurate depiction of life in this time period, altering only what he saw fit for his own lifetime.


Hazlitt, William. “Characters of Shakespear’s Plays.” Henry U. Ed. John Russell Brown. New York: Penguin Books USA, 1988.

Henry V Page. Ace G. Pilkington. Dixie College. 1997

Henry V Page. O. Thompson. Virginia Tech. 1996

Shakespeare, William. Henry V. New York: Penguin Books USA, 1988.

Deeper Meaning of Shakespeare’s As You Like It

The Deeper Meaning of As You Like It

Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a good play for anyone to read or see. Some readers would enjoy one aspect of it, some would enjoy another. But all would, in general, enjoy the play. Albert Gilman says that Shakespeare intended to imply that all that people need to live together in harmony is “good sense, love, humor, and a generous disposition.” (Gilman lxvii) This play is deeper than the surface, and that is part of its appeal to every kind of person.

As its title declares, this is a play to please all tastes. “.For the simple, it provides the stock ingredients of romance….For the more sophisticated at d, it p propounds…a question which is left to us to answer: Is it / better to live in the court or the country?….For the learned and literary this is one of Shakespeare’s most allusive plays, uniting old traditions and playing with them lightly… (Gardner 161)

The title of the play came from a note to his “gentlemen readers” in Thomas Lodge’s book, Rosalynde, in which he said, “I f you like it, so.” (Lodge 108) People interpret different lines and actions of the characters as they wish, and we know Shakespeare would not object; it says so right in the title of the play! Actors and Directors have taken this literally, and have made various changes to the script, such as having Phebe gnaw on a turnip or an apple between her lines and having Rosalind kiss the chain before giving it to Orlando.

The characters in As You Like It are easy to understand because they follow their simple wishes; they do something because it suits them. For example, Oliver hates Orlando because he wants to. There is no reason for him to resent him, none at all: “… for my soul, though I know not why, hates nothing more than he.” (Shakespeare 8) Duke Frederick banishes Rosalind because people felt sorry for her for her father’s sake. Finally, Rosalind herself had no other reason than a simple whim to not tell Orlando who she really was.

Touchstone added the humor to the story, and Jacques added the melancholy. Shakespeare entered both of these characters into the play to balance each other. He also added Audrey and William to give all of the characters someone to love.

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