"Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety."

--Henry V

Henry V at Agincourt

Henry V

Directions: After reading the lecture, answer one of the main questions, which will appear in bold. This question is due no later than Thursday, Mar. 15. Following that will be other questions, in black, which you should read and think about--they may help you answer the main question. However, you are not required to answer these questions in writing.

Your responses to other students' answers are due by midnight on Sunday, Mar. 18. In order to get the full 20 points, you MUST respond thoughtfully to at least 2 other people's postings.

This set of discussion questions is worth a possible 20 points. Remember: late answers receive 0 points, so post early :)

We will be using the Canvas Discussion Board for this class. Click on the link below to get to the Canvas portal, sign in, and then click on the box for this class. You will find the "Discussions" link on the left side of the screen:

Discussion Board


Henry V Link

Remember: You are required to answer only one of the "red" questions, although you are, of course, welcome to answer more than one if you wish.

1. Did Shakespeare intend Henry V to be a pro-war or an anti-war play?

2. Do you think the play would have been more effective without the Chorus?

3. Do you perceive Henry V as a good man or a bad one? A good king or a bad one?

1. In the Prologue, what deficiencies does the Chorus admit, and what does he ask of the audience? What is the purpose of this opening?
2. What are the terms of the bill discussed by Canterbury and Ely? Why do they oppose it? What do they plan to do to prevent its passage?
3. According to the Bishops, how did Henry V change when his father died? Why is it important for the audience to know this?
4. What does the Bishop of Canterbury mean when he says, "It must be so, for miracles are ceased..."? (I.i.70) What does this statement imply about his faith?
5. Henry, in I.ii, asks the bishops to explain why his claim to the French throne is justified. What warning does he give them before they proceed?
6. What argument do the Bishops make to justify Henry's claim to the throne?
7. What precautions must Henry take before he can concentrate on France?
8. How do Exeter and the bishops allay his concerns about Scotland?
9. How does the Dauphin insult Henry?
10. How does Henry respond to the insult?
11. In the prologue to Act II, the Chorus tells of a plot against Henry. Why not show the conspirators plotting, rather than have the Chorus tell of it?
12. What is the purpose of Scene 1 in Act II?
13. Why does Henry toy with the traitors in II.ii? Why not just accuse them immediately?
14. Henry's speech to the traitors spells out the reasons why he takes their betrayal so seriously. What are they?
15. What is Henry's attitude toward them as he orders their deaths?
16. What is the symbolic significance of Falstaff's death?
17. What is the Dauphin's opinion of King Henry V? How does the Constable contradict him? Does he believe the Constable?
18. As Henry's ambassador, what does Exeter demand of the French King?What will happen if the French King refuses?
19. What is the Dauphin's attitude about the war with England?
20. How does Henry inspire his soldiers to fight when they are attacking Harfleur? What emotions is his speech designed to arouse?
21. In III.ii, what is the dramatic purpose of the Boy's speech?
22. What is the point of the argument between MacMorris and Jamy?
23. What does Henry promise will happen if the people of Harfleur do not surrender? Do they surrender? Why?
24. In III.vi, we learn that Bardolph has been sentenced to die. For what? Why does Fluellen say he should die?
25. Why does Henry uphold the order to execute Bardolph? (III.vi.109ff.)
26. Montjoy tells Henry he will lose, and asks what ransom he'll set for himself. What is Henry's response?
27. Both sides claim publicly that victory is theirs. What does each side say privately?
28. What is Orleans's opinion of the Dauphin? What is Constable's? (III.vii.)
29. What is Henry's mood the night before the battle?
30. As Henry is wandering in the camp in disguise, whom does he meet and what does he hear?
31. Why, according to Henry, is the King not responsible for those who die in battle? (IV.i.)
32. What challenge does he accept from Williams? (IV.i.210ff.)
33. Henry told Williams he was not responsible for his soldiers' spiritual welfare. But in his soliloquy, when he is alone, what does he say? (IV.i.238ff.)
34. In his prayer in IV.i.300ff., what does he ask of God?
35. Why is the pathetic condition of the English soldiers emphasized so much?
36. How do Henry's lieutenants, as they are shown before the battle, compare with the Dauphin and his companions?
37. Westmoreland wishes for more men to fight with them. What is Henry's response?
38. When Montjoy gives Henry a second chance to ransom himself, what is Henry's response?
39. In IV.vii, Henry says he was not angry until now, but now he's furious. Why?
40. When Montjoy comes to Henry for the third time, what does he ask? (IV.vii.)
41. Why does Henry give Fluellen the glove in IV.vii? Is he making a joke, or is there some serious purpose in it?
42. How many French died in the battle? How many English died?
43. In V.ii.24ff., what point is being made by all of the nature imagery in Burgundy's speech about lost peace?
44. When they are left alone in V.ii, how does Henry speak to Katherine?
45. Why is Henry's speech to Katherine in V.ii.138ff. in prose rather than in verse?
46. Does Henry need to woo Katherine in order to marry her? Why does he do it?
47. When Henry wants to kiss her, what is Katherine's response? How does Henry answer her objection?
48. Why does Shakespeare choose to end the play with the Chorus's speech, rather than Henry's closing speech? How does the Chorus's speech foreshadow future conflict and loss? Why not end the play on a happy note?
49. Is order restored at the end of the play?


Click on the picture at the top of the page to find out more about it.