Henry V and Richard III depicted how two very different men rose to power and assumed the throne of England. Henry was an intelligent, driven young man who sought to reconstruct the civil war ravaged kingdom after the death of his father. Shakespeare presented Richard as a corrupt, sadistic villain who cared nothing for the English people except that they knew and feared his absolute authority. Both men, though, possessed the same focus and determination, which made the comparison and contrast of these two plays that much more drastic.
When Henry V came to power, he knew he was responsible for gaining the trust and respect of both the English court and the common man. In order to end wars within the country and regain political stability, Henry decided to lay claim to his land in France. In response to this, the French prince Dauphin snubbed Henry, which launched him into action. With the support of the English people behind him, Henry gathered his troops and planned to invade France.
Henry did away with those who plotted against him and his mission and set sail for France. With his tremendous resolve and leadership, the English victoriously fought their way through France despite terrible odds.
The English forces were urged to remain focused on the task at hand, and all those who disgraced the kingdom were severely punished. Looting, spying and the like all resulted in death at Henry's command. With the same dedication, however, he took into consideration the concerns of the common soldier and in prayer he gained the power to fulfill his leadership responsibilities and rally his troops.
After the English forces defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt, while outnumbered five-to-one, the opposition finally surrendered. Henry was able to secure peace negotiations and meanwhile married Catherine, the daughter of the French king. Thus, Henry had successfully united two kingdoms.
The reign of King Richard III differed greatly. In order to reach...
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