Examples Of Heroism In King Henry's Day Speech

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Shakespeare suggests that heroism is quite exclusive, implying that it is a privilege of a few lucky men. This can be seen in King Henry’s inspirational St. Crispin’s Day speech in the words ‘we few, we happy few’ and ‘the fewer men, the greater share of honour’. The word ‘share’ implies that Henry treats the amount of honour that is won in a battle, as a fixed amount that will be divided equally among all victors. Furthermore, the suggestion that the honour is equally shared, ‘be he ne’er so vile’ implies that whilst exclusive, heroism is not a birth right and can be achieved by both nobility and commoners. It appears as if Shakespeare’s intention was to show how Henry’s outlook on societal statuses differs from that of Shakespeare’s other…show more content…
While this in some ways can be related to the character of Henry, Shakespeare hides this from the audience by instead highlighting Henry’s willingness to share his honour with his men. Queen Elizabeth, who reigned during this period when the play was written, was fond of the theatre and later on gave permission for professional theatres to be built in England for the first time. With this in mind, Shakespeare may have intended to show a good side of Henry, for he wouldn’t want to disrespect previous Monarchs within the English royals by speaking badly of him. Unlike Henry V, Queen Elizabeth would not have minded a negative portrayal of Richard III for he fought Elizabeth’s grandfather (Henry Tudor) and as a result, the Tudor era began. As Henry was already a character respected by the audience of that time, Shakespeare would have been keen to play of this opinion. His subtle use of showing Henry’s view of equality could be an example of this as a way to make the audience feel a sense of self importance, which at the time would have been important considering their current

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