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Historic Accuracy In King Lear

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Alex Alldrin, Madison Silva, Jenna Delido,

Mr. Clark

English 3 Period 5

05 October 2005

King Henry V

William Shakespeare's play, The Life of King Henry the Fifth , is an accurate account of the life and times of the real King Henry V who lived in the 16th century. From the location of the play, to the characters and conflicts that drive it, Shakespeare accurately depicted the facts of this epic tale. Some of the things that are accurate with the life and times of Henry the Fifth are the setting and outcomes of the battles, the conflicts that drive the main plot of the play, the life and behavior of the young King Henry the Fifth, the setting and times of the play, and the personalities and behavior of the people around him. Some details were left out in the play because Shakespeare considered them to be extra and unnecessary.

Shakespeare depicts Henry the Fifth as a wild youngster who was getting into mischief and regularly attending the Boar's Head Cavern where he would befriend thieves and criminals of all different sorts. Although he may have slightly exaggerated this fact, it is indeed a fact and has been backed up by many different sources.

The Hundred Years War and the Battle of Agincourt truly did take place. The English were truly outmanned by the French five to one and the English really did win it all at the end. One common misconception or rumor is that the French needed to be hoisted up onto their horses with a block and tackle. Several internet sites say that this is most likely false and that the weight of the packs that infantrymen use in the times today. Other than this small misconception the Battle of Agincourt.

The main conflict in the story is caused by the prince of France, Dauphin sending King Henry golfballs which was an insult. This is also a true statement. It is also true that King Henry would go on to marry Catherine. The places that the play takes place in are all accurate and true to history.

Henry IV was never able to truly succeed because of insufficient funds. His son Henry V was his successor and became a much more popular king because of his strength and charisma. Henry ruled from March 20, 1413 to August 31, 1422. He was crowned in Westminster Abbey on April 9, 1413. Shakespeare failed to include these dates because it was not relevant to the play.

In King Henry V Shakespeare portrays Henry as a wild youth who only takes on a more sophisticated role when his father, King Henry IV, dies and Henry is forced to take control of kingdom in his father's place. Henry's feral behavior is discussed between Ely and Canterbury. Ely Ð'- And a true lover of the Holy Church. Canterbury Ð'- You wouldn't have expected it based on how he acted as a youth. But no sooner had his father stopped breathing than the prince's wildness died too. (Shakespeare.Act I. Scene I. 24-28) Ely and Canterbury seem to look upon Henry with a sort of reverence and yet they appear to feel in authority over him, when they are really not. Throughout the play Henry is faced with decisions based on war and actual moral ethics. He is accompanied in his decision making by Ely and Canterbury who tend to sway Henry's thinking. Henry still remains strong in his decisions and puts a lot of trust in his army and in himself.

During Henry's rule he began negotiating with France who proved to be unyielding. So on August 11, 1415 Henry invaded France. It was easy enough for Henry and his army to overtake the French at Harfleur. Henry was relentless and on October 25, he confronted the French army at Agincourt (British Kings and Queens pg. 124) Although the English were outnumbered the English proved to be stronger in confidence and were led by a stronger leader then the French and Henry won. Although, Henry could be "Hard and domineering, Henry could be ruthless and cruel. Yet he was admired" (Henry V 1387 Ð'- 1422). His army and his people feared and obeyed him. Shakespeare describes Henry in accurate detail.

Despite the very few encounters Henry had with the king of France, their relationship was vital and accurate as well. The king of France practically taunted Henry at first by sending him the tennis balls which is something Shakespeare added in to cause a laugh, then with his never ending remarks that led to Henry's vengeance. Without that taunting Henry would have had less faith in himself and his army. Men love a good challenge.

During the battle of Agincourt Henry is ruthless not allowing really any French soldier to live. Yet earlier in the play he was merciful to a man, that mercy is no longer there at least not on the battlefield. Henry's wild personality comes out once more after his victory at Agincourt when he marries the daughter of the French King (Henry V 1387 Ð'- 1422) putting an end to his dispute with France.

Henry died from dysentery on August 31, 1422 he was only thirty-four years old. The throne was left to his infant son who was now the king of a great kingdom. Although, Henry only reigned for a very short while it was one of the most successful rulings. There were no other kings who had gained as much as Henry V had (British Kings and Queens pg. 136) Shakespeare's portrayal of Henry was rather accurate when it



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