Henry V: Novel Summary: Act 4

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The Chorus sets the scene in the English and French camps at night. The neighing of horses pierce the night air, as does the sound of the armourers' hammers as they prepare the knights' armor. At three o'clock in the morning, the overconfident French are impatient for dawn, while the English sit patiently by their fires like men waiting to be sacrificed. Their thoughts are heavy. But Henry walks around the camp, visiting his men and encouraging them. With his cheerful manner, he gives no sign of the dire situation they are all in. Every soldier is comforted by the sight of their King. Their fears dissipate.
Analysis
The Chorus describes another lesson in leadership given by Henry. He does not cajole or bully his men, but talks to them as friends and brothers. He knows that any chance they have of victory rests on their morale and courage, rather than their weaponry. Refusing to show any fear, he leads by example. In Renaissance thought, a King was often compared to the sun, a comparison made here also. Just as the sun warms everyone, so the sight of Henry comforts all his troops and thaws their fear.

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