-Henry V-

Act 1 Scene 1

Act one begins with The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely, they discuss a significant bill that has come before Parliament, that would see the church stripped of large portions of its temporal lands (lands bequeathed to the church that are used for secular purposes). As they’re clergymen (a male priest, minister, or religious leader, especially a Christian one), they are strongly opposed.

Canterbury tells Ely that he has tried to convince Henry V to vote against the bill (ending it). In return, the church has promised Henry that it will give him the largest sum ever given to a monarch in order to finance his campaign against France. The church also agrees to recognise Henry’s claim to the throne of France by maternal descent from King Edward III.

Both men are shocked as the King isn’t what they expected, they reference his wild days as a youth (appearing to show a lack of interest in the crown). They comment on the fact that since assuming power, Henry V has become Machiavellian (cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics) in his approach to affairs of state, showing that he is a great politician, great military strategist, and also a familiar with religious affairs.

Plot Summary

After a verbal exchange from the French Dauphin, King Henry V of England invades France to claim the throne he thinks should be his. Henry halts an assassination plot, gives powerful speeches, and wins many battles against the odds. By the end, he impresses and marries the Princess of France, therefore linking the two nations.

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