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Shakespeare’s Henry V

In Shakespeare’s Henry V, Prince Hal, who was in effect the subject also of the preceding plays, Henry IV (parts 1 and 2), finally takes center stage in this play that chronicles the struggle of former Prince Hal to put away youthful ways and adopt the persona and integrity of a king. Dr. White, in this last of his four presentations on the Henry plays and Richard II, posits that Henry V is an epic of sorts, tracing as it does the chronological, emotional, and moral quest of the new young king Henry for greatness, maturity, nobility, justice, and mercy. Of note is the effort expended by Henry to become the opposite of the man of our age – integrated rather than alienated; a coherent whole rather than fragmented parts; a genuinely moral and stately figure, rather than a pathetically amoral and degraded vagabond.

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