Henry years. Yet there are a number of

Henry V is the last play in the cycle in which William Shakespeare explores the nature of kingship and compares medieval and Renaissance ideal rulers. Though written about the early 1400s, audiences have found the historical play disturbingly relevant for hundreds of years. Shakespeare’s play has given rise to endless debates about the parallels between Henry V’s military campaign and modern warfare. He is portrayed as the ultimate and original underdog war story. He is also seen as a model or portrait of an ideal king since he acts in the best Elizabethan tradition. Hal, the nickname by which Henry was known in his youth, soliloquizes that his roguish behavior is policy- only a temporary ploy soon to be discarded, after which he will astonish his critics. True to that promise, Hal becomes the perfect English king, a true representative of all of his people, one who understands his own vices and virtues and those of his citizens. His youthful escapades have taught him a deep understanding of the human nature of the citizens he must rule, making him wise beyond his years. Yet there are a number of moments where less praiseworthy qualities seem apparent. In most of his histories, including Henry V, Shakespeare depicts the English monarchy as a game between family and friends of vying for a gold ring-the crown. Shakespeare gives his reader a central metaphor through which to see this equation in the play. As Shakespeare continued to work on Henry V, he decided to conclude that history is frequently not very dramatic. Chronicles of the past have little to no subjectivity and subtly since they focus on appropriating the truth rather than approaching it. Noble causes and mass murders abundant in the play, often at the cost of fact and explanation, adds up to an account of the past in which the winners reign victorious before the battle even begins while the losers’ natural iniquity is as much a factor to their defeat as enemy swords. As political maneuvering continued in this time of unrest, Shakespeare had a revelation and came to this startling conclusion- there is a gap between the events of the past and historical narrative. Despite his facts being misrepresented and less than admirable, the English people greatly follow his tales and the experience of enjoying his literature is nonetheless riveting. His philosophical and personal views have yet an impacting effect on the tale and misrepresentation of facts does not lead readers to enjoy his plays any less, but maybe even delve deeper into them.