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How is the play Henry V relevant to the time of its plot?

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zobe | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 27, 2008 at 11:26 AM via web

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How is the play Henry V relevant to the time of its plot?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted January 1, 2009 at 11:18 AM (Answer #1)

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Set in the early fifteenth century, Henry V is incredibly relevant to the time of its plot in that it not only reveals the victory of the English over the French at Agincourt but also vividly contrasts true English honor with haughty French pride. 

Immersed in the Hundred Years' War, the English were not supposed to win at Agincourt.  Short on men and scant on supplies, the English army was haggard and exhausted.  The French, of course, fail to realize the great power of the newly crowned Henry V to rally his troops.  They still think of him as the philandering Prince Hal while they pat themselves on the back with overconfidence as evidenced in Act IV when the Constable says, "Let us but blow on them, The vapor of our valor will o'erturn them."  This is given in direct contrast to the statements of honor given by Henry the V right before the actual battle.  "If we are marked to die, we are enow To do our country loss; and if to life, The fewer men, the greater share of honor.  God's will!"  What a glorious piece of English propaganda!

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