Suggested Essay Topics
Act I, Scenes 1 and 2
1. What perception of Henry do we see among the English characters? What is their estimation of his character and personality? What different perception do we see among the French? How do these attitudes affect their political decisions?
2. Like any leader embarking on war, Henry needs the power of a united people behind him. What hint do we get that all is not well within England? How would disunity lessen his power against France?
Act II, Prologue
1. Write an essay contrasting the imagery used here to describe the English with that used to describe the French, especially as it relates to parts of the human body. What does it imply about the national spirit of each country?
2. After seeing the arrogance of the Dauphin earlier, how would an audience most likely react to the news that the French are afraid of the English—and that they have hired assassins to kill Henry? Discuss the characterization of the French at this point in the play.
Act II, Scene 1
1. Describe or exemplify some of the lot characters’ comic techniques: puns, insults, parody, non sequiturs, double entendres, malapropisms. Give at least three or four specific instances from this scene.
2. This scene contains at least five references to various kinds of canines. Identify each of these, define it, and give its metaphoric meaning as well.
Act II, Scene 2
(The entire section is 2776 words.)
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