King Henry V Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of King Henry V.
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King Henry V Summary & Study Guide Description

King Henry V Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on King Henry V by William Shakespeare.

King Henry V is the title of the play and also the name of the main character. Henry is securely ensconced on the throne of England but has come to believe that he is also entitled to hold the throne of France based on his ancestry. He offers France the opportunity to hand over several titles but the Prince of France responds by giving Henry a box of tennis balls. The message is that Henry is just a boy and should return to playing rather than trying to do important work, such as ruling a country. Henry is furious. He wants to attack France and take the throne but calls on his closest officials for direction. They advise that he should attack and that’s all the urging he needs. Henry doesn’t need a great deal of convincing and he makes plans to invade France.

Meanwhile, several soldiers are interacting as they prepare to head off to fight King Henry’s war. Pistol, Nym, and Bardolph are in Eastcheap where they are discussing the fact that a former friend and confidante of Henry is near death. The three discuss the situation with Pistol’s wife, a woman named Mistress Quickly. She and Pistol bemoan the fact that they can’t escape the rumors that they are running a brothel simply because they allow young, single women to live in their boarding house. They actually are running a brothel.

Henry sets out for France but leaves behind a large contingent of men to protect the English boarders from other would-be conquerors. This means the English army is greatly outnumbered on French soil. Henry takes time one evening to wander among his men. He is disguised and hears complaints about his leadership. The French worry about Henry from the beginning, despite their larger forces and home-field advantage. Later, Henry rouses his men to fight by calling on them to band together, as brothers. He points out that they are outnumbered which means they will each carry an even larger share of the glory, once they defeat the French. During the battles, the French and English officers and soldiers have debates and discussions, ranging from the merits of a particular horse to the fact that they’d rather be safely at home. Despite being outnumbered, Henry leads the men to an impressive victory.

Henry presents himself to the King of France and to his daughter, Katherine. He courts Katherine as if she has the right to choose whether they will marry. Henry doesn’t force the King of France to step down immediately, but agrees that once the French king dies, Henry or Henry’s son will take the throne. Henry’s marriage to Katherine will cement the deal.

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This section contains 459 words
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Buy the King Henry V Study Guide
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