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Word Count: 1,182
In this play Shakespeare wants to show us the different aspects of Henrys character The main question is if Henry was better at being a king dealing with issues from a political perspective and relating it to the approach to leadership or at being merely a man concentrating on friends and family A solution to the questions of kingship raised in thisplay is given by the fact that when Shakespeare was alive during the Elizabethan times there was a very particular idea of what it meant to be a king In simple terms the man who could cope with all the demands laid upon him by public office For Shakespeare and his audience it would be Henry IV that portrayed all the necessary qualities to be a king and seemed to avoid all the weaknesses of temperament He was not however the ideal king as his power was crippled by the fact that he had usurped the throne and lived under threat from the nobles who had originally helped him This ate away at his confidence and made him into quite a cunning person Henry V though started out as a young man who no one respected because he did not accept any responsibilities He then however ended up becoming a better king than his father It was made clear at the beginning of the play the kind of regard shown to him when he was given a gift This was a chest of tennis balls sent to Henry by the French prince and delivered by the Dauphin It was a fashionable game for young men in those days but not a game suitable for a worthy king Henrys speech in reply to this insult was witty full of double entendre sarcasm and harsh words mocking the French And tell that pleasant Prince this mock of his Hath turned his balls to gunstones It is ingenious the way he turned the joke
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