What messages does Henry V convey in the play by Shakespeare about war - the nature of war, consequences of war, the justification of war, the benefits of war, the military, etc.?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the play, the reasons for going to war are simple: birthright. King Henry feels the time is right to stake his claim to France by way of being related to Edward III. King Henry feels it is his right to do so and that God is on his side. He also realizes the costs of war, which for one is the loss of human life. War always ends life and some of those lives are of the innocent. King Henry and the King of France, both realize this. There is also the lost of establishments. War is devastating to any region it is in. King Henry even sends a message by the Duke of Exeter to the king of France to hand over the title for the sake of these loses. The consequence of the war is on the military itself. King Henry visits his soldiers and learns the realization of just how the war is affecting them. He thinks the benefits of the war are to gain France for his own. The nature of war is usually always the same. King Henry, with the help of some of his aids, comes to believe that because of his birthright, France should be his. In war there is always someone wanting something that belongs to someone else. King Henry truly believes that France is his and that gives him the justification of going to war. He believes that the benefits far out way the consequences of war. France will be his and all costs.