Critics have been vastly divided in their responses to Henry. Some scholars, such as Joseph M. Lenz, Dorothy Cook, M. M. Reese, and Rolf Soellner, have praised Shakespeare's presentation of Henry as the ideal ruler. Reese declares that Shakespeare carefully directed the dramatic action of the play to portray him as doing everything that the Elizabethan age expected of the perfect king, and Soellner contends that Henry represents Shakespeare's ideal character and that he attempts to paint a sympathetic portrait of his hero. However, most critics, including Norman Rabkin, Hardin...
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