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 Henry V: hero or total jerk?

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QuantumCowboy
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PostSubject: Henry V: hero or total jerk?   Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:13 pm

I've read Henry V a few times, and seen it performed twice, though admittedly never by "professionals." The first couple of times I read it, I saw Henry the king as a very noble character; on the surface, he is indeed a very proud and strong leader, first in the charge and full of speech after lengthy speech of patriotic encouragement to his troops. Both times I saw it performed, Henry was portrayed similarly, as a very "good" character.

Lately however, I have had my doubts. I get this sneaking suspicion that he is in fact a total jerk, obsessed with self-glorification and the advancement of his personal honor and standing above all else; further, his grand and glorious speeches then are but trite ways of manipulating his inferiors. I get an especially ugly vibe recently from the whole Katherine scene... it seems so patronizing all of a sudden/ And given Shakespeare's penchant for creating multilevel characters, especially as protagonists, I fear a hero of mine has turned into a rather bad role model.

I have no quotes off the top of my head to back this up, and I will search for some to post; but does anyone in general agree with me, or am I the only one who reads it that way? Perhaps that is the way everyone reads it, and I have only lately joined the rest of the class, but it doesn't seem like the majority or on-the-surface opinion is such.

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keltroncybo
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PostSubject: Re: Henry V: hero or total jerk?   Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:53 pm

To be honest, until you brought this to my attention, I never read it that way. I stage-managed this show in college and I promised myself I'd never look at it again. lol j/k....

Now I'll have to take a look at it with this tidbit in mind.

Thanks QC...

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