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How does kingship in Shakespeare's Henry V contribute to national pride?

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meems | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:46 AM via web

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How does kingship in Shakespeare's Henry V contribute to national pride?

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shaketeach | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted October 27, 2010 at 2:09 AM (Answer #1)

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In Henry IV, part 2, the dying king advises Prince Hal that the best way to avoid internal conflicts is to focus the country on foreigners.

At the beginning of Henry V, the Archbishop of Canterbury tells the new king  that under Salic Law, he has a legitimate claim to the French throne.  This is the perfect opportunity to accomplish two things.

First, he can appeal to his country's patriotism.  France has been a thorn in England's side for many years.

Secondly, if he is successful, he will be king of not just England but also France.  As a member of the Plantagenet family, he has vast holding in France.

What happened was he became a warrior king and became a great hero after his huge victory at Agincourt.

During World War II, Sir Laurence Olivier produced his famous production of the movie Henry V with a strong emphasis on patriotism.

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