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Henry V in French

Henry V in French

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Henry V in French

évaluations:
3/5 (666 évaluations)
Longueur:
164 pages
1 heure
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Mar 1, 2018
ISBN:
9781455426836
Format:
Livre

Description

Pièce d'histoire de Shakespeare, Henry V, en traduction française. Selon Wikipédia: "Henry V est une pièce d'histoire de William Shakespeare, dont on pense qu'elle a été écrite vers 1599. Ses titres complets sont The Cronicle History of Henri Quint (dans le texte du premier quarto) et The Life of Henry the Fifth (dans le premier texte du Folio) raconte l'histoire du roi Henry V d'Angleterre, en se concentrant sur les événements qui ont précédé et suivi la bataille d'Azincourt (1415) pendant la guerre de Cent Ans.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Mar 1, 2018
ISBN:
9781455426836
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest dramatist in the English language. Shakespeare is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon.”  


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  • (4/5)
    Bombast, stirring speeches, dubious English adventurism in France, the camaraderie of “we happy few”: one sees how the simple, direct valour and honour of this Henry embodies so much of the English character and self-assurance. The Chorus has some memorable lines too, as does the Archbishop of Canterbury, seeming to scheme at the outset, but then dropped from this uncharacteristically straightforward plot. I’m still not clear though, despite the Archbishop’s long attempt at explanation, whether Henry’s claims in France were indeed “with right and conscience” valid or not. No matter now; legend and a heroic leader do the trick.
  • (5/5)
    It just doesn't get any better than this!!

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead.
    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
    Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
    Let pry through the portage of the head
    Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
    As fearfully as doth a galled rock
    O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
    Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
    Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
    Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
    To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
    Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
    Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
    Have in these parts from morn till even fought
    And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
    Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
    That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
    Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
    And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
    Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
    The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
    That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
    For there is none of you so mean and base,
    That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
    I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
    Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
    Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
    Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'
  • (4/5)
    Overall, I found this an exciting play with some of Shakespeare's most rousing speeches. On the minus side, it is a tad long and some of the scenes (such as Princess Katherine learning English) could have been eliminated or shortened to make for a tighter play.
  • (2/5)
    Are you allowed to not like anything by Shakespeare? So many great, enjoyable Shakespeare reads, but this is not one of them in my opinion. Definitely offers value from a literary and historical perspective, but I honestly would choose many other of his works above this.
  • (4/5)
    I liked Shakespeare's "Henry V" a lot.... it has a few great speeches and the action moves along nicely. The play picks up shortly after Henry V ascends to the throne of England and follows him to France for the Battle of Agincourt. The play skips around from place to place a bit, which might be a bit jarring if not for the chorus smoothing over the rough edges. I understand this was one of Shakepeare's later historical plays -- fit in to cover the period between others -- and it shows as the writing is pretty tight and the story well-paced.
  • (2/5)
    Not very interesting and uses obsolete language as in all Shakespeare's books/plays. This one recounts a battle between England and France. Not recommended.
  • (5/5)
    This is a play I chose to read for my Play Analysis paper for my Intro. to Drama class. The language is extremely powerful and memorable, the characters are compelling, and the play itself is exceptional. I definitely highly recommend it for anyone with any interest at all in drama. It is, without question, one of the greatest examples of the genre ever written. As to the edition itself, I found it to be greatly helpful in understanding the action in the play. It has a layout which places each page of the play opposite a page of notes, definitions, explanations, and other things needed to understand that page more thoroughly. While I didn't always need it, I was certainly glad to have it whenever I ran into a turn of language that was unfamiliar, and I definitely appreciated the scene-by-scene summaries. Really, if you want to or need to read Shakespeare, an edition such as this is really the way to go, especially until you get more accustomed to it.
  • (4/5)
    I think I like Henry V best of all the kings. I suppose it helps that he isn't an usurper (or at least, he didn't begin the rebellion or kill Richard II -- I'm not sure whether the son of an usurper is still an usurper), and that I've followed his development through three plays.

    He gets pretty good speeches, too. I have the nebulous beginnings of an essay idea, perhaps, in consequence: something about the theatricality of the kings. Theatre within theatre, comparisons between theatre and kingship... Might be able to find some more critical material now I have an idea.
  • (4/5)
    Just finished Henry V...worth the read.
  • (5/5)
    Shakespeare recreates a famous battle on an Elizabethan stage with great speeches, a fascinating and very realistic look at the common soldiery, and a chorus that begs the audience to use its imagination.
  • (4/5)
    I finished this edition today. This edition has the text on the right side, and the explanation on the left side. I saw this at the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN. They used most of the text, which some the essays have said is unusual. The stage was bare, except for occasional tables and chairs. It was performed in a "wooden O" on stage. I think this fits in with Shakespeare's original productions. The book also had the translations of the French scenes, which definitely helped. I could follow a little bit, but not entirely. When I read the book, I could really understand what Katherine was saying, which made it even more of comic relief. I also couldn't help but think of all the times the English and the French fought over the years, especially here in America, but that now that's gone. There's the Chunnel connecting England and France, and next year's Tour de France will start in England. Amazing how times change.
  • (4/5)
    I recently attended the Chicago Shakespeare Theater production of Henry V by William Shakespeare. This is one of Shakespeare's more popular plays with brilliant and subtle moments although it falls short of the excellence of the drama in the two parts of Henry IV that preceded it. Shakespeare based his play upon current historical information about the man who was King of England and France almost two centuries earlier. The play focuses on the events leading up to and including the battle of Agincourt in which the English under Henry decisively defeated the French under the Duke of Burgundy. The result was the marriage of Henry to Katherine, the daughter of Charles VI, the KIng of France.The play is notable for the inspiring speech of Henry before the final battle that concludes with the famous lines:"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;For he to-day that sheds his blood with meShall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,This day shall gentle his condition:And gentlemen in England now a-bedShall think themselves accursed they were not here,And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaksThat fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day." (Act IV, Scene iii)The play notes the death of Falstaff and his absence leaves a hole that the comic relief of Bardolph, Pistol, and Nim cannot completely fill. The production I saw portrayed the battle scenes with an over-the-top level of bombast that nearly blew us out of our seats (we held on dearly for from our vantage in the third level we would have had a long fall to the floor below). The best parts of the play for me, and my friends, were the scenes in the second half of the play. The scene where Henry borrows a cloak and goes among the common soldiers, disguised, the night before the Battle of Agincourt was especially effective. Though Henry, as played by Harry Judge, was impressive in Henry's speeches and as leader of the English nobles. The combination of a good cast and production made this an excellent production to end the season at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
  • (2/5)
    Is this normal for his historical plays? The actual historical action is only briefly outlined and the majority of the play is devoted to the antics of a pack of buffoonish rogues / camp followers? Also this particular one seems to be dedicated to lionizing a guy for invading a foreign country in a war of conquest.
  • (5/5)
    My favorite Shakespeare play about Henry' V's victory at Agincourt. Henry is a complicated character who appears innocent but is actually a master manipulator. Great speeches including the famous "we happy few, we band of brothers" one.
  • (5/5)
    I have argued, with support from a couple of my senior Shakespeareans at SAA, that Henry V is the comedy Shakespeare promised at the end of 2 Henry 4, epilog: "to continue the story, with Sir John [Falstaff] in it. But after the actor who played Falstaff disappeared (Will Kemp--probably to tour Germany), Shakespeare created a very different kind of comedy, a reconciliation of conflicting nationalities in the usual comic resolution, however preposterous: marriage. And in a thoroughly modern (even modernist) touch, the spirit of comic reconciliation pervades the play through its linguistic playfulness. This is Shakespeare's only play using national accents: French, Welsh, Scottish, Irish and of course English. I would speculate that the "Great Britain" only enshrined around a century later (1705?) was initiated under James I, and here in Shakespeare's Henry the Fifth, previewed. The comic interlude of Fluellen and Jamy, etc, features the strong Scottish and Welsh accent, where for instance Fluellen says, "Alexander the Pig." He is corrected, "Don't you mean Alexander the Great?" F, "The great, or the pig, are all one reckonings..."Later in the play, the King "claims kin" with F's despised Welsh minority; "For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman" (4.7.105). And Fluellen may speak English "funny," but he is an excellent soldier, and very knowledgeable about the history of warfare, especially Roman. Well, all this is available in Fran Teague, Acting Funny in Shakespeare, which I heartily recommend with self-interest.
  • (5/5)
    Wonderful rhetoric, good characterization, I believe this writer will have a successful career! The portrait of the king is a wonderful presentation about the good things of one man rule. I seem to have watched it more than I read it, but still five times, and ready to do it again. My favourite speech is "Upon the King...". Aside from the pageant-style Henry VIII, Shakespeare is ready to move on to more personal drama, and this is his last historical play.Internl evidence places this play in the period of late May, 1599.
  • (3/5)
    I hadn't read Shakespeare since school when I decided to give this, one of his historical plays, a chance. At first I struggled to get into it, but then, by using the voices of the characters from the TV show 'A Game of Thrones', I found that I could make it all more dramatic and interesting, and from that point on it was plain sailing.
  • (2/5)
    I actually really enjoy Shakespeare. Especially King Lear (of the few I've read so far) I just didn't like Henry V as a character, which severely stunted my ability to enjoy the play. Only the Saint Crispin's Day Speech stopped me from giving this just one star.

    I'm not altogether certain that I'm understanding the historical context, but it seems to me that Henry's war does not have just cause. Simply because he has a doubtful claim to France's throne, and the prince of France--the Dauphin--insulted him? My dislike of Henry's war, and therefore Henry himself may be helped along by the fact that the responsibility of Joan of Arc's unfair death seems to be evenly divided between him and Charles VII, the king of France whom Joan served.

    I'm not a pacifist, but I agree with J.R.R. Tolkien; "War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." (Somewhere, and I cannot for the life of me remember where, I read sort of summary of Tolkien's feelings on war; that he felt that war was evil, but sometimes necessary to protect the good things in life)

    I think the reason that Henry's first speech bugs me is because he is manipulating his countrymen into fighting an unjustified war. Henry started this war because he wanted to be king of France as well as England, and because the Dauphin insulted him. This means that the English are trying to take over a country, while the French are defending their homeland. When I'm presented with this scenario I will almost always side with the defenders, rather than the attackers. I think that the French had a reason to fight; to protect their homeland, but I don't think the English did, and Henry whipping them into a bloodthirsty frenzy to be sure that they wouldn't show mercy was wrong. Returning to the Tolkien theme, sometimes showing pity can save your world, as with Bilbo sparing Gollum.

    Henry has ethos because he is a figure of authority. He is the king. One thing that I think gives the speech extra pathos and ethos, and it may be the only time that I see logos in it, is when Henry does appeal to them not to let the fallen Englishmen have fallen in vain. If they lost the war then those people would have died for nothing. This is the way that I feel about the Vietnam War. America pulled out just when we could've won. Of course I am looking back on it, without having lived through it, so maybe I shouldn't be one to judge what the right decision was at the time.

    It's not just Henry V that I dislike though. The Archbishop of Canterbury urged Henry into this war, and might very well have been responsible for Joan of Arc's false heresy sentence and death. And the French Dauphin. Regardless of how Henry was in his youth, it was wrong of him to insult him, especially since Henry was in a position of power so that he could start a war over an insult.

    So I guess the two main reasons why I don't like the speech or Henry is because of my feelings about the reasons for the start of the war, and because of the feeling of manipulation.

    This speech is more rousing by far than the previous one. Henry made this speech when he was outmatched, cold, sick, hungry, desperate and afraid... and so this speech had a ring of truth to it. Henry was asking his men to fight for their lives. I actually felt inspired by this speech. I do thing that Henry had some character growth in act IV. He faced his own guilt in his discussion with Williams. He defended himself, which I found annoying, but then when he was alone he had an eloquent soliloquy that I felt truly showed that, despite his defending his own actions, showed that he had taken some of what Williams said to heart.

    The Saint Crispin's Day Speech is really interpretable, however, so I'm going to compare four different interpetations, and how the different recitations affected me. I like to listen to the plays while following along, and in the fully casted AudioGo, Arkangel recording, the actor spoke quietly, as though the speech was personal, mainly for Gloster, Bedford, Exeter, Westmoreland and the other officers. The result of this was that when Montjoy came, I felt Henry should have given in to save his men's lives. Of the three film-versions of the speech I watched on Youtube, Tom Hiddleston's performance most closely echoed that of the audiobook. He seemed to be speaking mainly to his high officers, but he had a lot more feeling in his words than the actor in the recording. He had a lot of sadness in his voice, like he was preparing to die, and coming from him, it didn't seem so unreasonable that he would not accept the French request for his ransom. Lawrence Olivier actually seemed to be addressing all his men, but to me at least, he didn't seem to have a lot of emotion, so I didn't find his version of the speech very compelling, though I did like it better than the audiobook. He was at a disadvantage to the other film versions, though, because Lawrence Olivier's version of the speech was the only one that didn't have music accompanying it. It's incredible, what a good soundtrack can do to add or bring emotion. The last version I'll look at is Kenneth Branagh's. This version was my favorite (once I got over the fact that Gilderoy Lockhart was wearing bright red and blue livery) but the majority of the comments on Youtube seem to disagree with me, prefering Olivier's version. I liked this version because I felt that, played by Branagh, King Henry was addressing his entire army, but at the same time, trying just as hard to give himself courage. Branagh had the most emotional performance of all of them. I could hear his courage, and his desperation. The music, by Patrick Doyle, added to the emotion, it sounded hopeful almost to the point of triumph, yet without undermining the feeling of urgency. With Branagh, not only did I not feel that Henry should have handed himself over, I actually felt that if he had tried, his troops wouldn't have let him do so, and I liked that about this performance. Though I do prefer all of the the film versions to the audio, it is obnoxious to me that all three of them cut out parts of the speech, especially the newer Branagh and Hiddleston versions.

    Henry's war was still unjust, but now, because he had truly faced the hardships of war, and heard the complaints of some of his people, and, just maybe, started to take some of the blame for himself, I felt much more inspired. The reasons for the war were unfair, but the reasons for that one battle were acceptable.

    As with the last speech, this one's main components are pathos and ethos, but there is quite a bit of logos to the speech, and the three elements are balanced much better than before. Henry has more ethos than he did before, because, not only is he king, but he too is about to enter a battle he doesn't expect to win. This gives him much more credibility. Instead of simply ordering his men to go into battle, he is going with them. With pathos Henry brings hope to a situation that seemed hopeless. "If we are mark'd to die, we are enow/To do our country loss; and if to live,/The fewer men the greter share of honour." Henry also gives them the desire to tell their children stories about this day; "This story shall the good man teach his son;/And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,/From this day to the ending of the world,/But we in it shall be remembered." There is also logic in this speech, because if they fight they will probably die, but if they don't fight the certainly would, after all, they were described as many being sick, and the French were blocking them from going somewhere to rest.

    I think that my preference of this speech can be traced to the desperate situation that Henry's men face. This is the kind of speech I would expect to hear from the defenders, rather than the attackers. But then, right now the French are attacking. Henry is still to blame for the whole situation, but this time, he and his men are defending something--their lives. I did not find this speech to be manipulating, because this time, Henry's men know exactly what they are up against.

    I still don't like Henry, or the war he started, but I do like the Saint Crispin's Day Speech.


    PS. This review is made up of patched together answers I made in discussion posts for an online class. The questions for the discussion posts were mostly regarding Henry's two motivational speeches in Act III. Scene I, and IV. Scene III.
  • (3/5)
    The best of this play is the spurring to action of a few against many. The underdog plays well (although the whole divine right of kings stuff pales for the modern reader).The king seems to have no relation whatever to the boy he once was. Only Pistol and Bardolph serve to remind us of those days.
  • (5/5)
    What a wonderful way to present Shakespeare. An audio book with added commentary explaining the more difficult language, all the historical context and how the people of Shakespeare's day would have reacted to each part. Absolutely fabulous, I can't wait to get into the other ones they've published.
  • (2/5)
    I actually really enjoy Shakespeare. Especially King Lear (of the few I've read so far) I just didn't like Henry V as a character, which severely stunted my ability to enjoy the play. Only the Saint Crispin's Day Speech stopped me from giving this just one star.

    I'm not altogether certain that I'm understanding the historical context, but it seems to me that Henry's war does not have just cause. Simply because he has a doubtful claim to France's throne, and the prince of France--the Dauphin--insulted him? My dislike of Henry's war, and therefore Henry himself may be helped along by the fact that the responsibility of Joan of Arc's unfair death seems to be evenly divided between him and Charles VII, the king of France whom Joan served.

    I'm not a pacifist, but I agree with J.R.R. Tolkien; "War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." (Somewhere, and I cannot for the life of me remember where, I read sort of summary of Tolkien's feelings on war; that he felt that war was evil, but sometimes necessary to protect the good things in life)

    I think the reason that Henry's first speech bugs me is because he is manipulating his countrymen into fighting an unjustified war. Henry started this war because he wanted to be king of France as well as England, and because the Dauphin insulted him. This means that the English are trying to take over a country, while the French are defending their homeland. When I'm presented with this scenario I will almost always side with the defenders, rather than the attackers. I think that the French had a reason to fight; to protect their homeland, but I don't think the English did, and Henry whipping them into a bloodthirsty frenzy to be sure that they wouldn't show mercy was wrong. Returning to the Tolkien theme, sometimes showing pity can save your world, as with Bilbo sparing Gollum.

    Henry has ethos because he is a figure of authority. He is the king. One thing that I think gives the speech extra pathos and ethos, and it may be the only time that I see logos in it, is when Henry does appeal to them not to let the fallen Englishmen have fallen in vain. If they lost the war then those people would have died for nothing. This is the way that I feel about the Vietnam War. America pulled out just when we could've won. Of course I am looking back on it, without having lived through it, so maybe I shouldn't be one to judge what the right decision was at the time.

    It's not just Henry V that I dislike though. The Archbishop of Canterbury urged Henry into this war, and might very well have been responsible for Joan of Arc's false heresy sentence and death. And the French Dauphin. Regardless of how Henry was in his youth, it was wrong of him to insult him, especially since Henry was in a position of power so that he could start a war over an insult.

    So I guess the two main reasons why I don't like the speech or Henry is because of my feelings about the reasons for the start of the war, and because of the feeling of manipulation.

    This speech is more rousing by far than the previous one. Henry made this speech when he was outmatched, cold, sick, hungry, desperate and afraid... and so this speech had a ring of truth to it. Henry was asking his men to fight for their lives. I actually felt inspired by this speech. I do thing that Henry had some character growth in act IV. He faced his own guilt in his discussion with Williams. He defended himself, which I found annoying, but then when he was alone he had an eloquent soliloquy that I felt truly showed that, despite his defending his own actions, showed that he had taken some of what Williams said to heart.

    The Saint Crispin's Day Speech is really interpretable, however, so I'm going to compare four different interpetations, and how the different recitations affected me. I like to listen to the plays while following along, and in the fully casted AudioGo, Arkangel recording, the actor spoke quietly, as though the speech was personal, mainly for Gloster, Bedford, Exeter, Westmoreland and the other officers. The result of this was that when Montjoy came, I felt Henry should have given in to save his men's lives. Of the three film-versions of the speech I watched on Youtube, Tom Hiddleston's performance most closely echoed that of the audiobook. He seemed to be speaking mainly to his high officers, but he had a lot more feeling in his words than the actor in the recording. He had a lot of sadness in his voice, like he was preparing to die, and coming from him, it didn't seem so unreasonable that he would not accept the French request for his ransom. Lawrence Olivier actually seemed to be addressing all his men, but to me at least, he didn't seem to have a lot of emotion, so I didn't find his version of the speech very compelling, though I did like it better than the audiobook. He was at a disadvantage to the other film versions, though, because Lawrence Olivier's version of the speech was the only one that didn't have music accompanying it. It's incredible, what a good soundtrack can do to add or bring emotion. The last version I'll look at is Kenneth Branagh's. This version was my favorite (once I got over the fact that Gilderoy Lockhart was wearing bright red and blue livery) but the majority of the comments on Youtube seem to disagree with me, prefering Olivier's version. I liked this version because I felt that, played by Branagh, King Henry was addressing his entire army, but at the same time, trying just as hard to give himself courage. Branagh had the most emotional performance of all of them. I could hear his courage, and his desperation. The music, by Patrick Doyle, added to the emotion, it sounded hopeful almost to the point of triumph, yet without undermining the feeling of urgency. With Branagh, not only did I not feel that Henry should have handed himself over, I actually felt that if he had tried, his troops wouldn't have let him do so, and I liked that about this performance. Though I do prefer all of the the film versions to the audio, it is obnoxious to me that all three of them cut out parts of the speech, especially the newer Branagh and Hiddleston versions.

    Henry's war was still unjust, but now, because he had truly faced the hardships of war, and heard the complaints of some of his people, and, just maybe, started to take some of the blame for himself, I felt much more inspired. The reasons for the war were unfair, but the reasons for that one battle were acceptable.

    As with the last speech, this one's main components are pathos and ethos, but there is quite a bit of logos to the speech, and the three elements are balanced much better than before. Henry has more ethos than he did before, because, not only is he king, but he too is about to enter a battle he doesn't expect to win. This gives him much more credibility. Instead of simply ordering his men to go into battle, he is going with them. With pathos Henry brings hope to a situation that seemed hopeless. "If we are mark'd to die, we are enow/To do our country loss; and if to live,/The fewer men the greter share of honour." Henry also gives them the desire to tell their children stories about this day; "This story shall the good man teach his son;/And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,/From this day to the ending of the world,/But we in it shall be remembered." There is also logic in this speech, because if they fight they will probably die, but if they don't fight the certainly would, after all, they were described as many being sick, and the French were blocking them from going somewhere to rest.

    I think that my preference of this speech can be traced to the desperate situation that Henry's men face. This is the kind of speech I would expect to hear from the defenders, rather than the attackers. But then, right now the French are attacking. Henry is still to blame for the whole situation, but this time, he and his men are defending something--their lives. I did not find this speech to be manipulating, because this time, Henry's men know exactly what they are up against.

    I still don't like Henry, or the war he started, but I do like the Saint Crispin's Day Speech.


    PS. This review is made up of patched together answers I made in discussion posts for an online class. The questions for the discussion posts were mostly regarding Henry's two motivational speeches in Act III. Scene I, and IV. Scene III.
  • (4/5)
    I’ve loved Shakespeare’s work for a long time, but I’ve always struggled with his Histories. I enjoy seeing them performed live, but when I read them it’s easy for me to get lost in a sea of soldiers and forget who is who. This play is preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2, and the last two feature our illustrious title character, Henry V.This particular play rises above the other histories in my opinion because it’s more about the transformation of one man than about war. Obviously there is war and a bloody one at that, but it’s also about Henry (Prince Harry) coming to terms with his responsibility and leadership. He must grow up and leave the boy from the Henry IV plays behind. The lives of so many men are in his hands and without his leadership all will be lost. This is fully realized in one of the most famous monologues in the English canon. We’ve heard the “band of brothers” line thrown around for years, but when you hear the full speech, on the cusp of battle, it’s incredibly moving and powerful. Here’s one small bit… “This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.”Think about what he is actually saying there. This huge moment in history, the Battle of Agincourt, is so important that the men who weren’t here will wish they were. They won’t consider themselves real men because they were unable to fight in this battle. What an incredible thing to say to your men before rushing in to battle! I also really love the scene with the French princess, Katharine, and Henry at the end of the play. It’s one of the only moments in a very serious story that is a bit light and witty. BOTTOM LINE: It is a classic for good reason. While I struggle with Shakespearean histories, others love them. I don’t think it’s the best place to start with his work, but it’s certainly an essential piece. I think I will probably enjoy it more with each re-read as the language and action becomes even clearer. Also, I would highly recommend the 1989 film version starring and directed by Kenneth Branagh. I watched it after finishing the book and it was really excellent. I have always been impressed with Branagh’s Shakespearean films. I particularly love his version of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing. 
  • (4/5)
    A solid addition to the canon. However, given Penguin's general attitude of inclusiveness, I find it odd that the Katherine/Alice scene - entirely in French - isn't translated. I generally agree with the editorial assumption that words with evident meanings shouldn't be explained, as most readers have access to a dictionary, however this seems to be going too far.