Classics · Shakespeare

Henry V Act II

I really liked Henry’s interaction with the three treasonous noblemen. After listening to them recommend harsh punishment for someone else, he then reveals that he’s aware of their treachery and tells them not to suddenly change their tune and ask for mercy. It’s like watching a game of chess, where you can only win by thinking several moves ahead – and so far, King Henry is a master at that.

However, it’s hard to understand what’s going on in scenes 1 and 3. I looked up the characters, and they were part of the Henry IV plays, so my feeling of “what on earth is happening now?” is probably because I’m not reading all the histories in order. However, they also seem to be minor characters in this play, so it’s probably not that big a deal. On a different note, the Boar’s Head tavern has to be the inspiration for the Hog’s Head in the Harry Potter series, right?

In the final scene of Act II, we get our first glimpse of France. I get the feeling that the French king is taking Henry’s threat of invasion seriously, while the dauphin just seems eager for war and willing to underestimate the enemy.


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