Henry V Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is the message Shakespare is sending to Queen Elizabeth I through his play, Henry V?

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Some critics regard this excellent play as being a study of what makes a perfect King (or Queen). Let us not forget that this play is actually the last of three plays that chart the rise of the young, hotblooded Hal to becoming King Henry V. This last play in particular seems to focus on the kind of qualities that you need to possess to be an effective ruler, and we see Henry placed in a number of situations where he has to manipulate and act very ruthlessly in order to achieve his objectives.

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I doubt this play was meant to disguise military advice to Queen Elizabeth.  More likely, this play was written to uphold a national hero, make the Queen and her subjects proud of their heritage, and to instill a national pride and allegiance to the realm.  The English public is not naive enough to believe that their national heros were all wonderfully flawless individuals.  The Kings and Queens of Britain have all had their flaws, and Henry V was no exception.  However, Shakespeare was careful...

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