Henry V

Resident Repertory Company

hery V was the Elizabethan Hero-King, representing the finest qualities of youthful, disciplined and wise leadership (he had much the same aura for the Elizabethans as John Fitzgerald Kennedy has for many today).
Shakespeare’s henry V deals with the twin themes of patriotism and leadership, particularly the exercise of the external test of leadership in war and the responsibility of fighting only for a just cause. this responsibility is driven home to Henry when William, the commen solider, draws a powerful image of the consequences of war interms of mutilated men.
But most of all Shakespeare concentrates on the character of the young king and his grave responsiblities as a guide and leader of his nation.
“Upon the king! Let us our lives, our souls,
Our debts, our careful wives,
Our children, and our sins, lay on the king!
we must bear all.”
How many leaders today would acknowledge such responsibilities?