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1. Some contemporary critics
are uneasy with Henry V because they feel it glorifies
war and imperialism. They note that when the play was produced during
the World War II era, it was easily turned into patriotic propaganda.
Do you agree with their assessment? Does the play present a realistic
picture of war?
2. How does Shakespeare use individual
characters to present a broad panorama of the various peoples and
cultures that were part of Britain during Henry’s reign? What are
some of these cultures, and how does Shakespeare’s evocation of
them relate to the Chorus’s first speech before Act I?
3. Throughout the play Shakespeare
employs a number of recurring metaphors to describe and characterize
war. What are some of these metaphors? What do they have in common? How
might they help the audience to picture a massive battle on a small
4. How are marriage, families,
and parenting treated in the play? How do they relate to the political
Ace your assignments with our guide to Henry V!