Henry V (Annotated with Biography and Critical Essay) William Shakespeare Author
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As an historical play, Henry V as a narrative is a continuation of Henry IV Part I and II, as Henry V became the English king after the death of his father Henry IV in 1413. Henry V has been regarded over the centuries as Shakespeare’s most patriotic play. The English had fought the French for many years over lost and disputed French territory – and Henry’s victory at the Battle of Agincourt against strong odds built the confidence and stirred the patriotism of the English.When the play begins, France and England are avowed enemies and Henry’s advisors are urging him to claim the throne of France for himself. Since the Norman Conquest by William I in 1066, various tracts of territory in France had passed between French and English control. Louis, the heir to the French throne, and son of King Charles, sends Henry a barrel of tennis balls; a sly reference to Henry’s youth (he was twenty-six when he became king) and Henry’s reputation of being an underachiever. Henry decides he has been insulted - he must invade France.This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.


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