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Henry V (Wars of the Roses #4)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  31,558 Ratings  ·  902 Reviews
The introduction includes an examination of the Quarto and texts, and of the relationship between them; a critical discussion of the play's historical and literary sources; an examination of conflicting critical attitudes to the play, and of its fluctuating theatrical fortunes; and a demonstration of the range and variety of Shakespeare's characterization.
About the Series
Paperback, 281 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1599)
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Bill  Kerwin

Sure, it's a jingoistic pageant, but it's a great jingoistic pageant, and--besides--it is the most melancholy,ironic, self-aware--and laugh-filled--jingoistic pageant ever staged.

In Act V, Henry tells Katherine that together they will produce a son, and that this warlike paragon of chivalry will march to the Holy Land and "take the Turk by the beard." Yet we should know--and Shakespeare's audience certainly knew--that this boy would grow up to be Henry VI, the sickly, prayerful unstable man who
Do I hear the drums of war? Hal has drawn all the attention away from divided England with a time-honored ploy of kings of any unsure stripe... Let's kick the shit out of France!

Even though Henry V is a bright light and his fortunes burn ever brighter, it's hard to go through this story without feeling a lot of heavy sorrow for how he burned up his friends in his rise and how he shed no tears as he learned of all his youthful adventurer's deaths, save one, and he was only a boy in a skirmish aft
Aug 31, 2016 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If ever I had to have a crush on an actual English King, it might have been Henry V. It probably would have been in vain since he doesn't seem to have had much affection for anyone but who cares. The scandalous youth vanished some time before Henry IV died and when Henry V was crowned king, he showed the world.

Hal has become a stern but fair ruler who apparently didn't smile (or only slightly and not very often) and was a cunning politician who made sure England's treasury was refilled. But this
Feb 25, 2017 notgettingenough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
If you go to the Holden St theatres one of the things they have on during the 2017 Fringe Festival in Adelaide is Macbeth with zombies. As you may do, but I don't. My faith in the resilience of Shakespeare goes so far and no further.

I suspect this on its own put me off Henry V Man and Monarch, mashup of Henry IV, V and VI. How wrong was I to judge the one on the back of the other. It's a one man show by Australian RADA graduate Brett Brown and it's a wondrous thing to behold, this young man bein
James Lafayette  Tivendale
This is probably my favourite Shakespeare play. As always the language and poetry is amazing. I love reading Shakespeare as I often find my head swaying in time to the rhythm of the verse. I sometime speak it out loud too and hope I don't wake up my sleeping father lol. This is one of the longest Shakespeare plays I have read however; he is presenting an important period in the history of Britain. A key point in the War of the Roses.

Henry V, with his great-granddad Edward III are my favourite Br
Dec 30, 2012 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have argued, with support from a couple of my senior Shakespeareans at SAA (like Ralph Berry), that Henry V is the comedy Shakespeare promised at the end of 2 Henry 4, epilog: "to continue the story, with Sir John [Falstaff] in it. " But after the actor who played Falstaff disappeared (Will Kemp--probably to tour Germany), Shakespeare created a very different kind of comedy, a reconciliation of conflicting nationalities in the usual comic resolution, however preposterous: marriage. And in a th ...more
As I finish the second tetralogy's finale, King Henry V , I contemplate Shakespeare's effect on the presentation of history. He devotes nearly half of his theatrical contributions to stories plotted in reality rather than born of his imagination. I have argued before that Shakespeare, blessed with a genius' perspective, sees art not only in the creative arena but in reality. The presentation of the human condition happens among humans and not within the faculties of one's mind. Yet in order to ...more
João Fernandes
May 01, 2015 João Fernandes rated it it was amazing
(The Battle of Agincourt, 15th century illustration)

Edward II (you may remember him as the annoying whiny prince from Braveheart) married Isabella of France, daughter of King Charles VI. From their unwanted marriage sprung King Edward III, who apparently is the wet dream of English chivalry (we can't go half a play without hearing someone praise this guy).

Edward III claims the throne of France against his distant cousin Philip and the seemingly eternal conflict known as the Hundred Years War beg
Jun 16, 2009 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Thanks to Kenneth Branagh, this Henry history play was the cool Shakespeare movie when I was in high school. Eat your heart out Franco Zeffirelli. Mr. Branagh acted and directed his butt off. There were lots of arrows flying between England and France. The French were portrayed as snobs, a testament to the Bard’s high research standards. The original score was majestic. Did I mention the cool arrows?

Honestly, I’m still not sure why England and France were fighting—something about tennis balls b
Ahmad Sharabiani
Henry IV, Part 2 (Wars of the Roses, #3), William Shakespeare
عنوان: هنری پنجم؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: احمد خزاعی؛ تهران، قطره، 1371، در 202 ص، چاپ دوم 1384، شابک: 9643415333؛ چاپ پنجم 1393، شابک: 9789643415334؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه هنری پنجم شاه انگلستان 1387 تا 1422 قرن 16 م
A somewhat unexpected development at at the end of a four-play series ("The Henriad"). Shakespeare comes across as remarkably cynical in the first three plays, yet in this one he takes as mostly sincere the moral reformation of Henry V, and the superiority of English/British honor (while peppering the play with a bit of ethnic humor, Shakespeare upholds the honor of the Welsh, whose main defect is merely that they speak a bit funny). To a large extent the play seems most like a "history play" am ...more
Naomi Sarah
Mar 29, 2016 Naomi Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare = An author I do not like.

Why, you ask? Why did I not enjoy this famous epistle of Henry V and his antics of destroying the French? Why did I not bask in the old words and enjoy the 'comical' characters?

1. The words.
Maybe my brain is just zero, but I didn't understand HALF of it. More even, I only understood 1/9 words or something. It was terrible. I just can't relax reading it - I can't ENJOY it - Ijusthatedthisbookokay?!!
2. King Henry talks MUCH to much. Also, I find he has littl
David Sarkies
Jul 22, 2011 David Sarkies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love
Recommended to David by: University
Shelves: historical
An English Hero
13 January 2011

I originally read this play because it was set during the Hundred Years War and I wanted to use it as a primary source. Unfortunately it is not a primary source since it was written 150 years after the events depicted and the essay was about the English Parliament's influence on the war, which this play has nothing to do with. This is another example of why I would love to go back and redo those classes to see how well my essays come out now that I know a lot more.
Dec 22, 2016 Melanti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, play, 2016
My first of Shakespeare's histories, and a comparatively straightforward one to read compared to some of his others - in part because the plot is so straightforward.

Rather than a complicated plot, the majority of the time is taken up bragging about how great England is, how silly and overconfident the French were. The rest of the time is spent with King Henry giving some really great and inspiring pre-battle speeches.

There's a couple odd things about the play that make me wonder if it was origin
Ken Moten
We are often told war is hell, in this play Shakespeare shows us it is cruel too. While you would do good to have some background info on the actual people being portrayed blah, blah, blah, you also would do good with a little guide of Shakespeare's last historical plays Henry IV, Part 1 & Henry IV, Part 2. But even without it you would never the less see how torturous a campaign as Henry V's into France was. This is one of the Bard's better war plays mainly because he is doing it for his pa ...more
May 03, 2008 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"For God, Harry, and St George!"

Lord, what a play. Shakespeare is often times enjoyable, but I love to refer to this as the ultimate coming of age story. Every young man in the world deserves to see this performed.

The play is really, in my opinion, a cluster of insecurities facing young men. From his mockery at the hands of the Dauphin, to his proving his worth in combat, to the pressure put on him as king, the judgments he is forced to make, and maybe even a little romance, you will see Harry
Cindy Rollins
Jul 01, 2015 Cindy Rollins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Following on the heels of Much Ado we can see that Shakespeare's powers are at their zenith during this time period. I love Henry V and have read it several times out loud to the children and we have watched several versions. It is also a wonderful play for boys who love the St. Crispin's Day Speech on the fields of Agincourt.

One of my favorite cinematic scenes of all time is Kenneth Brannagh's Dona Nobis scene after the battle where he carries the little boy killed by the French. Perhaps it is
Nov 04, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

~Brushing up my Shakespeare!~




Erika Schoeps
It saddens me to give this a 3 star rating.

I read this for class and I'm honestly not sure why. This is the fourth play in a series on King Henry. I felt lost in the characters, which is more understandable for the History plays, but apparently (and this is a little obvious), I missed out on character development because this is the fourth book in a series. So, the character development doesn't hit as hard because I missed a bunch of it.

I'd like to re-read this sometime and have more backgroun
Aug 05, 2011 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
What I thought would happen in this play – the fourth in the sequence of ‘prequels’ Shakespeare wrote to his three Henry VI plays and Richard III – was that young Hal, now King Henry V, would show he had come of age, finally become a real hero and fulfilled his promise from Henry IV part I – “And like bright metal on sullen ground, / My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault / Shall show more goodly, and attract more eyes, / Than that which hath no foil to set it off.” All this I had expected – a ...more
May 18, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even for those whose introduction to Shakespeare has afforded them a positive experience -- thanks, perhaps, to a solid production of "Macbeth" or "Midsummer's Night's Dream" -- I think there's some trepidation about the history plays. I was no exception, feeling that my complete ignorance of the British monarchs would leave me unable to understand or enjoy the stories as told by Shakespeare.

I felt that way until my wife and I started seeing productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Altho
Jan 30, 2012 Martin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I taught this play for 18 years, not because I thought it was Shakespeare's best history, but because of Branaugh's wonderful cutting of it which makes this play so much more teachable. The two Henry IV plays are better with their complicated politics, the tension between the King and his wayward son, wonderful characters like Hotspur, and, of course, his best comic creation in Falstaff. But they're harder to read mainly because of the use of low class slang in the Falstaff scenes. Henry V is ea ...more
Well . . . talk about not delivering what was promised!

I'd have preferred it if Shakespeare had continued his comic side story with Falstaff, a character the audience already knew well and surely many liked for what he was meant to be, instead of the one he chose, Pistol, who's less known and not even a fraction as entertaining. In fact, he even feels a bit out of place in this play aimed at glorifying war so unapologetically, for being an incompetent fool instead of a funny incompetent fool.

Pete daPixie
Feb 28, 2012 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is not easy for me to award high star ratings to texts of plays, even those from the pen of William Shakespeare. The Oxford Shakespeare series transforms the simple lines of the drama into something much greater. 'Henry V' is revealed in all it's glory as almost every line of dialogue is presented with explanations of the Elizabethan politic mindset, the historical sources and sixteenth century colloquialisms.
On stage or film set this play has become a monumental work. Right from the opening
Jen Chough
May 29, 2009 Jen Chough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jen by: Inspired to read due to music from the movie
This is perhaps my favorite work of Shakespeare. When given the choice to read and write about ANTYHING (even a comic) as my last senior paper in AP English, it was a no-brainer to pull this play out. It's got it all - action, humor, drama, politics, and probably some of the most stirring and inspirational pre-battle speeches known to mankind. I mean, the stuff in here blows anything in Braveheart out of the water. "Once more unto the breach" and "St. Crispin's Day" will instill courage into eve ...more
I honestly liked the parts focused on Henry, his characters and the nature of his role as King; but there seemed to be so much unnecessary information in between. it read a bit like:

Blah Blah France England Blah France Blah Onto the Breach Blah Blah England Money France Blah France Je n'aime pas l'anglais Blah Blah Money Death Honour Blah France England Blah Blah Blah Fighting Gloves Agincourt Blah Blah Minor existential crisis Blah Blah Kings are regular guys Blah Marriage? Blah Blah Blah Je pe
Sumit Singla
Oh well, nicely written but it reeks of jingoism all over! I think I'd like to read more about the battle of Agincourt, but this book has definitely been underwhelming, especially by Shakespearean standards.

Henry V is the first historical play I've read by Shakespeare. Let's say that his tragedies are more popular - or schools just push students more into reading tragedies. And I don't know why! There's so much to read and see here! I enjoyed this play a lot! It depicts the battle of Agincourt, where England won over France even though France had a much bigger army. Okay, so you will probably not take details about the battle from the play, but it's nice to have some background for the story. Bu
We few, we happy few. We band of brothers...

The St. Crispen's day speech alone is well worth the price of admission! Other books have similar calls to arm, but I have read none so stirring as those in Henry V.

And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
More about William Shakespeare...

Other Books in the Series

Wars of the Roses (8 books)
  • Richard II
  • King Henry IV, Part 1 (Wars of the Roses, #2)
  • Henry IV, Part 2 (Wars of the Roses, #3)
  • Henry VI, Part 1
  • King Henry VI, Part 2
  • King Henry VI, Part 3
  • Richard III

Share This Book

“From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”
“[Thine] face is not worth sunburning.” 222 likes
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