Analysis of Henry V

Topics: Henry V of England, Hundred Years' War, Richard II of England Pages: 4 (1391 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Henry V by William Shakespeare, is supposed to have been written about 1599. It expresses the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events surrounding the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years' War. The play is the final part of a series of plays, following Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2. The original audiences would consequently be familiar with the title character, which was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad known as "Prince Harry". In Henry V, the young prince has flourished into an adult and embarks on a prosperous overthrow of France. BYU’s Young Company’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V utilizes the influence of Fun.’s rock ballad “Some Nights”, including audience members in the action, simple cuttings of the original piece, and casting a woman as King Henry in order to create a war infused coming of age children’s theater play. In the Young Company’s adaptation of the script, the prologue of Act I introduces the audience to what will be displayed before them and to see the “imaginary forces work”. The idea to imagine the large armies and the action works well with the idea of a simple theater with simple costumes and props. Keeping it simple allows for a children’s theater piece that still stays true to the original version of Henry V. Also, in Henry’s first set of lines, she states in a more colloquial language, “I know, right? I don’t look like a Henry” to more clearly define that yes she is Henry and yes she is female. The aspect of a female Henry softens the strength of the piece as only about war and allows a younger audience to see more of the importance of character motivations and internal conflicts.

Within the script, lyrics to “Some Nights” as well as other choice songs are placed in order to emphasize the point of “What do I stand for?” or to the audience, “What do you stand for?” (as well as create entertaining spectacle). This thematic element is meant to remind the audience of...
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